Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.
A stock rally to close out 2011 helped many Americans partially recover from their losses during the Great Recession, according to new government data out Thursday.
The Federal Reserve report shows that household wealth climbed a little more than 2 percent over the final three months of the year, the first increase in three quarters, according to Bloomberg News.
The jump is obviously a good sign for the economy as a whole, but the average household wealth would have to gain another 13 percent to return to its pre-recession peak.
Meanwhile, household debt also rose in the fourth quarter, the first time it has done so in three and a half years. Reuters explains that increase suggests that Americans are becoming more comfortable borrowing money, something that may lay the groundwork for higher consumer spending down the road.