Although the real estate market and retail sales are in a slump, the net worth of the average American household grew in the fourth quarter of 2006, largely due to the strength of the financial markets, Business Week reports. Net worth grew 2.5% from the previous quarter and 7.4% from the year before, according to data from the Federal Reserve.

And as the personal savings rate goes into negative territory—meaning that people are spending more than they are making—that’s actually good news for retailers.

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