Financial News

Everyone’s Richer Despite World Economic Problems

Despite problems plaguing the world economy, the average wealth of adults around the world has hit a new peak.

Each adult is now worth an average £32,300, according to a global wealth study by leading Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

However, the figure comes with a rider that lows and highs across different countries remain poles apart.

Overall, global wealth increased by 4.9%, mainly pulled along by the US, which accounted for 72% of the rise.

Global wealth is also expected to keep rising, says the report, which predicts individual wealth will go up by around 40% during the next five years, reaching a total of £209 trillion.

“Emerging markets are likely to lead the way,” says the report. “These economies will step in with around 29% of the growth in wealth, with China accounting for half of that. We also expect to see the number of middle income earners growing, although the world will see many more millionaires.”

Piling up wealth

The Credit Suisse wealth reports differ from similar studies because they include figures across the whole income spectrum – from the lowest to the highest earners – while rival reports concentrate on wealthy individuals with £600,000 or more in cash to invest.

These high-net worth reports are research for wealth managers and other financial survey firms to base business plans and marketing strategies on.

In the five years since the start of the global credit crisis, the report authors have noted some trends about emerging markets.

  • Wealth accumulation slowing in emerging markets generally, but within the sector, Mexico has improved, while Brazil and Russia have declined, mainly due to the strength of local currencies
  • Wealth is more evenly distributed in China than India

The report also argues that the European Central Bank repeatedly understates the average individual wealth in most European Union countries except Malta and Cyprus.

Ebbing wealth

The researchers also looked at wealth fluctuations and revealed that fortunes ebb and flow, with just under two-thirds of the Forbes list of billionaires in 200-01 listed in 2005, and fewer that 50% by the end of the decade.

Although the US has experienced severe economic problem, the nation is home to the most millionaires and multi-millionaires. Around 45,600 millionaires add up to 45% of the global total.

Click to download the 2013 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report or the 2013 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook

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