Sep. 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM ET
Household debt climbed $39.4 billion, the first gain in over a year, to $13 trillion in the second quarter, according to Federal Reserve data issued on Thursday -- just $2 trillion shy of the country's total yearly economic output.
Americans' financial net worth retreated by over $300 billion to $62.7 trillion.
In the short run, higher debt levels could boost growth. But unless wages and incomes keep up, analysts say any consumption spurt will likely prove short-lived.
U.S. non-financial firms held liquid assets amounting to $1.73 trillion, down about $20 billion from the prior quarter.
Households have struggled to rebuild their assets and income after the country's housing bubble popped and triggered the 2007-2009 recession.
The latest Census data showed median U.S. incomes fell 1.5 percent to $50,054 in 2011 after adjusting for inflation, the second consecutive annual drop.
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