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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 21): Credit Suisse Research Institute expects global wealth to increase by US$169 trillion by 2026, a cumulative rise of 36%, with middle-income countries primarily driving global wealth increases.
In its Global Wealth Report 2022 released on Tuesday (Sept 20), Credit Suisse forecast that by 2024, global wealth per adult should pass the US$100,000 threshold and that the number of millionaires will exceed 87 million individuals over the next five years.
The global investment bank and financial services firm’s think tank said that by the end of 2021, global wealth totalled an estimated US$463.6 trillion, which is an increase of 9.8% versus 2020 and far above the average annual 6.6% recorded since the beginning of the century.
It said setting aside exchange rate movements, aggregate global wealth grew by 12.7%, making it the fastest annual rate ever recorded.
Wealth per adult continued rising to US$87,489 at the end of 2021.
While financial assets have accounted for most of the increase in household wealth since the global financial crisis, the split between wealth increases driven by financial and non-financial assets was almost even in 2021.
The firm said that accounting for inflation lowers the wealth growth rates. In 2021, it estimates the increase in real wealth to have been 8.2%.
“As we look ahead toward a period of more elevated inflation than in the past two decades, the comparison of real and nominal wealth trends grows in relevance,” it said.
The report found that individuals with assets worth more than US$50 million, referred to as ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals, spiked to a record high last year.
The Global Wealth Report found that the number of UHNW individuals globally grew by 46,000 in 2021 to a total of 218,200.
The report said that at the top of the wealth pyramid, the US continues to rank highest with over 140,000 UHNW individuals (with wealth above US$50 million) followed by China with 32,710 individuals.
Worldwide, Credit Suisse estimates that there were 62.5 million millionaires at the end of 2021, 5.2 million more than the year before.
It said at the bottom of the wealth pyramid, there is now some evidence concerning the wealth impact of the policy reactions to the pandemic on various subgroups, but it will be some years before survey data gives a clear indication of the full distributional effects.
Distribution financial accounts in the US suggest that the wealth share of the bottom 50% of households in the US increased from 1.84% to 2.64%, mostly due to a rise in the value of real estate.
Forty-six thousand UHNW individuals also saw their wealth double by 50% within the two-year period (2020 to 2021).
The report said this is 46,000 more than the 218,200 recorded at the end of 2020, which in turn was 43,400 higher than in 2019.
These increases are more than double the increases recorded in any other year this century.
Taken together, it means that the number of adults with wealth above US$50 million expanded by more than 50% during a two-year period.
The number of US-based millionaires increased by 2.5 million last year, bringing the total number in the country to 62.5 million individuals. The US currently holds the largest number of millionaires in the world.
China, which harbours 10% of the world’s millionaires, comes in second place, followed by Japan, the UK, and France.
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