Global wealth surges in 2017 - Credit Suisse report

Andrew Cummings
November 15, 2017

The richest 1% of families and individuals around the world now hold over half of global wealth, according to a new report from Credit Suisse.

The share of the top 1 percent wealth holders has been on an upward path since the 2008 crisis, passing the 2000 level in 2013 and achieving new peaks every year after, according to the report. As many as 1,820 adults own wealth over $50 million (Rs 325 crore), while 760 have more than $100 million (Rs 650 crore).

The chart shows India's wealth pyramid. And the wealth outpaced population growth to a record high of $56,540 per adult. At the bottom, 92.3% of adults have wealth less than $10,000. Wealth in the Asia-Pacific grew by 3 percent to $89 trillion, putting the region ahead of Europe on $80 trillion and behind the US on $93.6 trillion. However, given India's large population, this translates into 4.2 million people. The firm feels that a hard start and adverse market conditions in their early adult years most likely will limit their wealth acquiring prospects in future years.

Personal debts are estimated to be just 9 per cent of gross assets, overall household debt as a proportion of assets in India is lower than in most developed countries.

Overall, Credit Suisse found global wealth at mid-2017 totaled $280 trillion, up 6.4 percent year-on-year, the fastest pace of growth since 2012 thanks to surging equity markets and more valuable non-financial assets such as property.

The rise in the stock market is the biggest reason for the gains, which in turn were driven by both stronger underlying economic conditions and the prospect of lower taxes and deregulation, Credit Suisse reported.

The report noted fluctuations in asset prices and exchange rates account for much of the change in household wealth across regions and countries in the short run.

There are now 3.5 billion people, or 70pc of all adults in the world who own less than $10,000.

Globally, Switzerland remains the richest nation in the world in terms of wealth per adult with $ 537,600 in 2017, followed by Australia ($ 402,600) and United States ($ 388,000) in the second and third place respectively, the report said.

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