ECONOMY

Household wealth rises as debts fall

Stock-market recovery also helps boost Spaniards’ holdings

The net financial wealth of Spanish families as measured by the difference between their savings and what they have borrowed stood at 995.993 billion euros as of September of last year, up 20.8 percent from the same period a year earlier and up 8.1 percent from the previous three months, according to figures released Monday by the Bank of Spain.

Household wealth is now on track to surpass one trillion euros, the size of Spain’s GDP, and is at similar levels to 2006, before the current crisis began. The main force behind this development has been deleveraging by households and more recently an improvement in the financial markets, which has seen a revaluation in their holdings of shares. The central bank said there was a recovery of 20 percent in the value of share holdings. The blue-chip Ibex 35 index added 21 percent last year.

Total household holdings of items such as cash, bank deposits and shares as of September stood at 1.856 trillion euros, up from 1.732 trillion as of June.

The Bank of Spain said the liabilities of households in the third quarter of last year was down 5.3 percent, or 48.2 billion, from the same period in 2012 at 860 billion euros.

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