Mar 26, 2020 15:58 UTC
  • Number of 401(k) millionaires in US drops by 500,000 over coronavirus crisis

The number of Americans with a pension account worth $1 million and $5 million has dropped sharply because of the recent US stock market crash caused by the coronavirus pandemic, US media outlets reported.

There were over 11 million 401(k) millionaires -- households worth between $1 million and $5 million -- in February, but that number has now plummeted by 500,000, an article by the New York Post said Wednesday, citing a report by the Spectrem Group, a stock market consulting firm.

“Households with a net worth of between $100,000 to $1 million dropped by 200,000 to 31.6 million since the end of 2019," the report said.

Global markets and US stock futures retreated Thursday following a labor market report showing over three million Americans lost their jobs last week as huge swaths of the economy shut down to slow the spread of coronaviurs.

The benchmark S&P 500 is still nearly $8 trillion below its mid-February high, and investors expect more sharp swings.

Data on Wednesday pointed to a fast-slowing economy that analysts said signaled the United States already is in recession.

Over 450,000 people have been infected globally by the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and more than 20,000 have died, according to the latest Reuters tally.

The number of known coronavirus cases in the United States neared 70,000 on Thursday, after more than 10,000 new cases confirmed to be infected in one day, according to Worldometers — a website which compiles data on COVID-19.

Health officials also reported at 1,031 total deaths in the country as of Wednesday evening.