Category Archives: Uncategorized

Money Supply Charts Through March 2019

For reference purposes, below are two sets of charts depicting growth in the money supply.

The first shows the MZM (Money Zero Maturity), defined in FRED as the following:

M2 less small-denomination time deposits plus institutional money funds.
Money Zero Maturity is calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on April 19, 2019 depicting data through March 2019, with a value of $15,827.8 Billion:

MZM Money Stock chart

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 3.1%:

MZM Money Stock chart Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 23, 2019;
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MZMSL

The second set shows M2, defined in FRED as the following:

M2 includes a broader set of financial assets held principally by households. M2 consists of M1 plus: (1) savings deposits (which include money market deposit accounts, or MMDAs); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000); and (3) balances in retail money market mutual funds (MMMFs). Seasonally adjusted M2 is computed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on April 18, 2019, depicting data through March 2019, with a value of $14,468.2 Billion:

M2 Money Stock chart

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 3.8%:

M2 Money Stock chart Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 23, 2019;
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M2SL

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2933.68 as this post is written

Disturbing Charts (Update 34)

I find the following charts to be disturbing.   These charts would be disturbing at any point in the economic cycle; that they (on average) depict such a tenuous situation now – 118 months after the official (as per the September 20, 2010 NBER BCDC announcement) June 2009 end of the recession – is especially notable.

These charts raise a lot of questions.  As well, they highlight the “atypical” nature of our economic situation from a long-term historical perspective.

All of these charts are from the Federal Reserve, and represent the most recently updated data.

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Housing starts (last updated March 26, 2019):

Housing Starts

US. Bureau of the Census, Housing Starts: Total: New Privately Owned Housing Units Started [HOUST], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/HOUST/, April 15, 2019.

The Federal Deficit (last updated March 18, 2019):

Federal Deficit

US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Surplus or Deficit [-] [FYFSD], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYFSD/, April 15, 2019.

Federal Net Outlays (last updated March 18, 2019):

Federal Net Outlays

US. Office of Management and Budget, Federal Net Outlays [FYONET], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYONET/, April 15, 2019.

State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated March 28, 2019):

State & Local Personal Income Tax Receipts Percent Change From Year Ago

US. Bureau of Economic Analysis, State and local government current tax receipts: Personal current taxes: Income taxes [ASLPITAX], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ASLPITAX/, April 15, 2019.

Total Loans and Leases of Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated April 12, 2019):

Total Loans And Leases Of Commercial Banks Percent Change From Year Ago

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Loans and Leases in Bank Credit, All Commercial Banks [TOTLL], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTLL/, April 15, 2019.

Bank Credit – All Commercial Banks (% Change from Year Ago)(last updated April 12, 2019):

Total Bank Credit Percent Change From Year Ago

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Bank Credit of All Commercial Banks [TOTBKCR], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TOTBKCR/, April 15, 2019.

M1 Money Multiplier (last updated April 11, 2019):

M1 Money Multiplier

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, M1 Money Multiplier [MULT], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MULT/, April 15, 2019.

Median Duration of Unemployment (last updated April 5, 2019):

Median Duration of Unemployment

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median Duration of Unemployment [UEMPMED], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UEMPMED/, April 15, 2019.

Labor Force Participation Rate (last updated April 5, 2019):

Labor Force Participation Rate

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate [CIVPART], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CIVPART/, April 15, 2019.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3)(last updated March 25, 2019):

Chicago Fed National Financial Activity Index 3-Month Moving Average

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CFNAIMA3/, April 15, 2019.

I will continue to update these charts on an intermittent basis as they deserve close monitoring…

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2905.58 as this post is written

Charts Indicating Economic Weakness – April 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Throughout this site there are many discussions of economic indicators.  At this time, the readings of various indicators are especially notable.  This post is the latest in a series of posts indicating U.S. economic weakness or a notably low growth rate.

While many U.S. economic indicators – including GDP – are indicating economic growth, others depict (or imply) various degrees of weak growth or economic contraction.  As seen in the April 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey the consensus (average estimate) among various economists is for 3.0% GDP growth in 2018 and 2.1% GDP growth in 2019.  However,  there are other broad-based economic indicators that seem to imply a weaker growth rate.

As well, it should be remembered that GDP figures can be (substantially) revised.

Charts Indicating U.S. Economic Weakness

Below are a small sampling of charts that depict weak growth or contraction, and a brief comment for each:

Total Federal Receipts

“Total Federal Receipts” growth continues to be intermittent in nature since 2015.  As well, the level of growth does not seem congruent to the (recent) levels of economic growth as seen in aggregate measures such as Real GDP.

“Total Federal Receipts” through March had a last value of $228,811 Million.  Shown below is  the measure displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value 8.5%, last updated April 10, 2019:

Total Federal Receipts Percent Change From Year Ago

source:  U.S. Department of the Treasury. Fiscal Service, Total Federal Receipts [MTSR133FMS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 10, 2019: 
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MTSR133FMS

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Federal Government Current Tax Receipts:  Personal Current Taxes

Another measure that depicts weak growth is that of “Federal government current tax receipts: Personal Current Taxes.”  Through the fourth quarter the value is $1648.173 Billion Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).  Shown below is the chart, displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value of .9%, last updated March 28, 2019:

Federal government current tax receipts: Personal Current Taxes - Percent Change From Year Ago

source:  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal government current tax receipts: Personal current taxes [A074RC1Q027SBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 11, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A074RC1Q027SBEA

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Federal Government Current Tax Receipts:  Taxes On Corporate Income

Another measure that depicts contraction is that of “Federal government current tax receipts: Taxes On Corporate Income.”  Through the fourth quarter the value is $160.899 Billion Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).  Shown below is the chart, displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value of -39.1%, last updated March 28, 2019:

Federal government current tax receipts: Taxes On Corporate Income - Percent Change From Year Ago

source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal government current tax receipts: Taxes on corporate income [B075RC1Q027SBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed April 11, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/B075RC1Q027SBEA

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The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)

A broad-based economic indicator that has been implying weaker growth or mild contraction is the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI).

The March 2019 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) updated as of March 25, 2019:

The CFNAI, with current reading of -.29:

CFNAI

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed March 25, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAI

The CFNAI-MA3 (CFNAI three-month moving average) with current reading of -.18:

CFNAIMA3

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; March 25, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAIMA3

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Total Construction Spending:  Commercial

“Total Construction Spending: Commercial” is a measure of construction exhibiting a contraction on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis.   This measure through February had a last value of $87,810 Million.  Shown below is the measure displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with a value of -5.6%, last updated April 1, 2019:

Total Construction Spending: Commercial - Percent Change From Year Ago

source:  U.S. Bureau of the Census, Total Construction Spending: Commercial [TLCOMCONS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed April 11,2019: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TLCOMCONS

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Other Indicators

As mentioned previously, many other indicators discussed on this site indicate economic weakness or economic contraction, if not outright (gravely) problematical economic conditions.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2888.32 as this post is written

Average Hourly Earnings Trends

I have written many blog posts concerning the worrisome trends in income and earnings.

Along these lines, one of the measures showing disconcerting trends is that of hourly earnings.

While the concept of hourly earnings can be defined and measured in a variety of ways, below are a few charts that I believe broadly illustrate problematic trends.

The first chart depicts Average Hourly Earnings Of All Employees: Total Private (FRED series CES0500000003)(current value = $27.70):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

Average Hourly Earnings Of All Private Employees

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of All Employees:  Total Private [CES0500000003] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed April 5, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES0500000003

This next chart depicts this same measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

Average Hourly Earnings of All Private Employees

There are slightly different measures available from a longer-term perspective. Pictured below is another measure, the Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees – Total Private (FRED series AHETPI)(current value = $23.24):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

AHETPI

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees:  Total Private [AHETPI] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics;  accessed April 5, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AHETPI

Pictured below is this AHETPI measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 4-5-19)

AHETPI Percent Change From Year Ago

I will continue to actively monitor these trends, especially given the post-2009 dynamics.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2890.61 this post is written

Consumer Confidence Surveys – As Of March 29, 2019

The Doug Short site had a post of March 29, 2019 (“Michigan Consumer Sentiment: March Final Rebounded“) that displays the latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence and Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index charts.  They are presented below:

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index

University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

There are a few aspects of the above charts that I find highly noteworthy.  Of course, until the sudden upswing in 2014, the continued subdued absolute levels of these two surveys was disconcerting.

Also, I find the “behavior” of these readings to be quite disparate as compared to the other post-recession periods, as shown in the charts between the gray shaded areas (the gray areas denote recessions as defined by the NBER.)

While I don’t believe that confidence surveys should be overemphasized, I find these readings to be notable, especially in light of a variety of other highly disconcerting measures highlighted throughout this site.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2827.25 as this post is written

Money Supply Charts Through February 2019

For reference purposes, below are two sets of charts depicting growth in the money supply.

The first shows the MZM (Money Zero Maturity), defined in FRED as the following:

M2 less small-denomination time deposits plus institutional money funds.
Money Zero Maturity is calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on March 22, 2019 depicting data through February 2019, with a value of $15,797.2 Billion:

MZMSL

Here is the “MZM Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 3.2%:

MZMSL Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed March 26, 2019;
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MZMSL

The second set shows M2, defined in FRED as the following:

M2 includes a broader set of financial assets held principally by households. M2 consists of M1 plus: (1) savings deposits (which include money market deposit accounts, or MMDAs); (2) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000); and (3) balances in retail money market mutual funds (MMMFs). Seasonally adjusted M2 is computed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail MMMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” (seasonally adjusted) chart, updated on March 21, 2019, depicting data through February 2019, with a value of $14,478.8 Billion:

M2SL

Here is the “M2 Money Stock” chart on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis, with a current value of 4.2%:

M2SL Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; accessed March 26, 2019;
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M2SL

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2824.92 as this post is written

Durable Goods New Orders – Long-Term Charts Through January 2019

Many people place emphasis on Durable Goods New Orders as a prominent economic indicator and/or leading economic indicator.

For reference, below are two charts depicting this measure.

First, from the St. Louis Fed site (FRED), a chart through January 2019, updated on March 13, 2019. This value is $255,273 ($ Millions):

(click on charts to enlarge images)

Second, here is the chart depicting this measure on a “Percentage Change from a Year Ago” basis, with a last value of 8.4%:

DGORDER Percent Change From Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Manufacturers’ New Orders:  Durable Goods [DGORDER]; U.S. Department of Commerce: Census Bureau; accessed March 13, 2019;
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/DGORDER

_________

I post various indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2814.49 as this post is written

Charts Indicating Economic Weakness – March 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

Throughout this site there are many discussions of economic indicators.  At this time, the readings of various indicators are especially notable.  This post is the latest in a series of posts indicating U.S. economic weakness or a notably low growth rate.

While many U.S. economic indicators – including GDP – are indicating economic growth, others depict (or imply) various degrees of weak growth or economic contraction.  As seen in the February 2019 Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Survey the consensus (average estimate) among various economists is for 3.0% GDP growth in 2018 and 2.2% GDP growth in 2019.  However,  there are other broad-based economic indicators that seem to imply a weaker growth rate.

As well, it should be remembered that GDP figures can be (substantially) revised.

Charts Indicating U.S. Economic Weakness

Below are a small sampling of charts that depict weak growth or contraction, and a brief comment for each:

Total Federal Receipts

“Total Federal Receipts” growth continues to be intermittent in nature since 2015.  As well, the level of growth does not seem congruent to the (recent) levels of economic growth as seen in aggregate measures such as Real GDP.

“Total Federal Receipts” through January had a last value of $339,980 Million.  Shown below is  the measure displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with value -5.8%, last updated March 5, 2019:

Total Federal Receipts Percent Change From Year Ago

source:  U.S. Department of the Treasury. Fiscal Service, Total Federal Receipts [MTSR133FMS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed March 5, 2019: 
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MTSR133FMS

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Regional Manufacturing Surveys

Various Federal Reserve regional manufacturing surveys are indicating either a significant weakening in growth or a decline in various aspects of activity.

Below is a chart of various regional manufacturing surveys, depicted on a 3-month moving average, from Doug Short’s site post of February 28, 2019 titled “February Regional Fed Manufacturing Overview“:

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Total Construction Spending:  Commercial

“Total Construction Spending: Commercial” is a measure of construction exhibiting a contraction on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis.   This measure through December had a last value of $86,188 Million.  Shown below is the measure displayed on a “Percent Change From Year Ago” basis with a value of -3.2%, last updated March 4, 2019:

Total Construction Spending: Commercial

source:  U.S. Bureau of the Census, Total Construction Spending: Commercial [TLCOMCONS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed March 4,2019: 2019:https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TLCOMCONS

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The Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index (ADS Index)

Among the broad-based economic indicators that seem to imply subdued or intermittent growth is that of the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index (ADS Index.)  Below is a chart of the index from the year 2000 through March 2, 2019, with a value of -.4717, as of the March 8 update:

ADS Index

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index (ADS Index)

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The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)

Another broad-based economic indicator that has been implying weaker growth or mild contraction is the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI).

The February 2019 Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI), last updated as of February 25, 2019:

The CFNAI, with current reading of -.43:

CFNAI

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index [CFNAI], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, February 25, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAI

The CFNAI-MA3, with current reading of 0:

CFNAIMA3

source:  Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Fed National Activity Index: Three Month Moving Average [CFNAIMA3], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, February 25, 2019:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CFNAIMA3

__

Other Indicators

As mentioned previously, many other indicators discussed on this site indicate economic weakness or economic contraction, if not outright (gravely) problematical economic conditions.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2743.07 as this post is written

Average Hourly Earnings Trends

I have written many blog posts concerning the worrisome trends in income and earnings.

Along these lines, one of the measures showing disconcerting trends is that of hourly earnings.

While the concept of hourly earnings can be defined and measured in a variety of ways, below are a few charts that I believe broadly illustrate problematic trends.

The first chart depicts Average Hourly Earnings Of All Employees: Total Private (FRED series CES0500000003)(current value = $27.66):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 3-8-19)

CES0500000003

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of All Employees:  Total Private [CES0500000003] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed March 8, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES0500000003

This next chart depicts this same measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 3-8-19)

CES0500000003 Percent Change From Year Ago

There are slightly different measures available from a longer-term perspective. Pictured below is another measure, the Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees – Total Private (FRED series AHETPI)(current value = $23.18):

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 3-8-19)

AHETPI chart

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees:  Total Private [AHETPI] ; U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics;  accessed March 8, 2019:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/AHETPI

Pictured below is this AHETPI measure on a “Percentage Change From A Year Ago” basis.   While not totally surprising, I find the decline from 2009 and subsequent trend to be disconcerting:

(click on chart to enlarge image)(chart last updated 3-8-19)

AHETPI Percent Change From Year Ago

I will continue to actively monitor these trends, especially given the post-2009 dynamics.

_________

I post various economic indicators and indices because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with what they depict or imply.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2731.39 this post is written

Total Household Net Worth As Of 4Q 2018 – Two Long-Term Charts

For reference purposes, here is Total Household Net Worth from a long-term perspective (from 1945:Q4 through 2018:Q4).  The last value (as of the March 7, 2019 update) is $104.329232 Trillion:

(click on each chart to enlarge image)

Total Household Net Worth

Also of interest is the same metric presented on a “Percent Change from a Year Ago” basis, with a current value of .8%:

Total Household Net Worth Percent Change From A Year Ago

Data Source: FRED, Federal Reserve Economic Data, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; accessed March 7, 2019;
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TNWBSHNO

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2746.37 as this post is written