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Great Recession and slow recovery have widened US wealth gap as home prices trail stock gains

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

WASHINGTON - The Great Recession and the slow recovery have sharply widened the gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else, according to a study that underscores the unevenness of wealth gains since the recession ended.

The richest 5 per cent had 24 times the wealth of the median household in 2013 — up substantially from 16.5 times as much in 2007, according to a study by University of Michigan researchers.

The figures reflect the importance of housing wealth to most households. Stock prices had plunged by nearly half in the recession. But they've recovered all their losses and set new highs. That's enabled richer Americans to regain much of their wealth.

But home prices are still nearly 20 per cent below the peaks reached in mid-2006. That's left middle-class Americans much further behind.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/140624/great-recession-and-slow-recovery-have-widened-us-wealth-gap