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The rich are getting richer. Global wealth increased by USD 3.8 trillion

FINANCEThe rich are getting richer. Global wealth increased by USD 3.8 trillion

The number of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI) and their wealth reached record levels in 2023, according to the latest Capgemini World Wealth Report 2023. Global wealth increased by USD 3.8 trillion (+4.7%), reaching USD 86.8 trillion. The number of wealthy individuals rose by 5.1% to 22.8 million worldwide and continues to grow despite market instability and economic uncertainty. These figures offset last year’s declines.

Growth Across Nearly All Regions

In 2023, North America experienced the strongest “recovery,” with a year-over-year wealth increase of 7.2% and a 7.1% increase in the number of wealthy individuals. The trend is similar across most markets, though less spectacular:

  • Wealthy individuals in the Asia-Pacific region saw a 4.2% increase in wealth and a 4.8% increase in numbers.
  • In Europe, the increases were 3.9% in wealth and 4.0% in numbers.
  • Latin America and the Middle East experienced lower growth rates: 2.3% and 2.9% for Latin America, and 2.7% and 2.1% for the Middle East, respectively.
  • Africa is the only region where both wealth (-1.0%) and the number of wealthy individuals (-0.1%) saw slight declines.

The declines among wealthy individuals from 2022 have disappeared, and growth trends are once again prominent. The Capgemini report highlights North America as the standout region, unsurprising given its economy’s resilience to global disruptions. There was also a significant increase in stock market activity in the region. Despite overall global market instability, only Africa recorded minimal declines. Experts caution against drawing conclusions about a swift return to relative normalcy. Significant upcoming events, such as the U.S. elections, European Parliament elections, and new regulations on social media and artificial intelligence, will impact local and global markets. The increasing wealth of the richest individuals primarily demonstrates their exceptional adaptability to new conditions, a trait proving most beneficial in the current situation.

Focus on Investments

With the rise in HNWI numbers, business decisions among the wealthiest increasingly focus on wealth accumulation rather than protection. The report indicates that two out of three wealthy individuals plan to invest more in private equity in 2024 to leverage potential profit opportunities.

According to the Capgemini report, Africa is expected to return to growth in 2024 due to upward trends in other markets. The slight declines in 2023 were due to limited foreign investments and low commodity prices. Wealthy individuals, driven by their earnings, will be more inclined to invest to increase their wealth rather than protect it. The African continent will naturally benefit from this change.

Expected Slowdown in 2024

Experts predict that the growth rate will slow this year, and the numbers at the end of 2024 will be less spectacular than the previous year. The second half of the year is crucial for the economy due to the upcoming U.S. elections. Initial visible fluctuations in global markets can be expected in the coming weeks.

Report Methodology

The World Wealth Report 2024 covers 71 countries, accounting for over 98% of the world’s gross national income and 99% of global market capitalization.

1: HNWI are individuals with investable assets of USD 1 million or more, excluding their primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables. HNWI are categorized into three groups based on wealth brackets: Ultra-HNWIs (USD 30 million or more), Mid-Tier Millionaires (USD 5-30 million), and Millionaires Next Door (USD 1-5 million).

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