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Global wealth 27% higher than a decade ago, led by further U.S. gains
Other - NOVEMBER 15, 2017

Global wealth 27% higher than a decade ago, led by further U.S. gains

by Andrea Waitrovich

Ten years from the onset of the global financial crisis, global wealth has grown by 27 percent, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2017 Global Wealth Report. In the 12 months to mid-2017, global wealth grew at a faster pace than in recent years, with mean wealth per adult reaching a record high.

According to the eighth edition of the Global Wealth Report, in the year to mid-2017, total global wealth rose at a rate of 6.4 percent, the fastest pace since 2012 and reached $280 trillion, a gain of $16.7 trillion. This reflected widespread gains in equity markets matched by similar rises in non-financial assets, which moved above the pre-crisis year 2007’s level for the first time this year. Wealth growth also outpaced population growth, so that global mean wealth per adult grew by 4.9 percent and reached a record high of $56,540 per adult.

 

Key findings 

  • This year’s report focuses in on millennials and their wealth accumulation prospects. Overall, the data point to a “millennial disadvantage”, comprising among others tighter mortgage rules, growing house prices, increased income inequality and lower income mobility, which holds back wealth accumulation by young workers and savers in many countries. However, bright spots remain, with a recent upsurge in the number of Forbes billionaires below the age of 30 and a more positive picture in China and other emerging markets.
  • The United States continued its unbroken spell of gains since the financial crisis, bolstered by strong market conditions. It added $8.5 trillion to the stock of global wealth, which is half of the wealth generated globally over the 12 months to mid-2017.
  • Stability in Europe enabled wealth growth of 6.4 percent across the continent, in line with global wealth growth. Four euro zone countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain) made it to the top 10 countries with the biggest gains in absolute terms. The U.K. market recovered after the losses caused by the Brexit vote last year but the outlook remains uncertain.
  • Switzerland once again ranked as the global leader in terms of both average and median wealth per adult in 2017.
  • Median wealth has risen in most regions, while remaining below the peak level of 2007. Only China has reached a new median wealth high. The top 10 ranking by median wealth corresponds closely to the ranking by mean wealth, although lower-than-average inequality promotes Italy and Japan to a place among the top 10.
  • In the mid-term, emerging economies are expected to generate wealth at a more dynamic pacethan their developed peers.
  • Among the wealth components, only financial assets are noticeably up since 2007; non-financial assets moved above the 2007 level for the first time this yearand are now 2 percent higher.
  • This century, debt grew at a fast pace (9 percent) until the financial crises, but has been flat since then, never gaining the peak value.

 

For a copy of the Global Wealth Report 2017, please visit: www.credit-suisse.com/gwr

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