Credit Suisse, a global bank headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, recently released its 2013 Report on Global Wealth. This is the fourth report produced by the Research Institute within Credit Suisse.
Overall, global wealth is reported to have increased by 4.9 percent from last year and now totals approximately $241 trillion. As compared to 2003’s level, the report indicates global wealth has increased by 68 percent.
Over the past year, household wealth showed the greatest percentage increase in North America with an increase of 11.9 percent. Strong equity market returns and the recovering housing market both were significant contributors to the increase in North America. Europe and India reported the next highest year over year improvements in household wealth with increases of 7.7 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. China was next with an increase of 6.7 percent.
Credit Suisse indicated the wealth per adult in North America showed the highest annual percentage increase — 10.5 percent — of the seven regions of the globe. The lowest figure reported was a negative 10.2 percent in the Asia-Pacific region. Globally, the wealth per adult increased from a year ago by 3.3 percent.
As measured by wealth per adult, countries such as Norway, Australia and Switzerland are expected to lead the global community over the next five years. The same measure will likely put the U.S. in the top five or so.
Over the next five years, Credit Suisse is predicting that global wealth will increase by as much as 40 percent. As might be expected, the emerging markets are projected to lead this anticipated growth of wealth. Of the projected total growth in global wealth, China is expected to account for about 50 percent of the increase.
The U.S. is expected to remain the global leader in aggregate wealth over the next five years, benefiting from a projected increase of 23 percent. Following this same upcoming five-year period, wealth in China is forecast to arrive at a level approximate to the U.S.’s wealth level achieved in 1993. The Eurozone is anticipated to grow its aggregate wealth by 29 percent over the next five years.
Kirby Brown is the CEO of Beneficial Financial Group, based in Salt Lake City.