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UBS: Inflation-adjusted 2023 global wealth grew nearly 8.4%

UBS' Global Wealth Report Wednesday found that inflation-adjusted wealth in 2023 grew nearly 8.4%. That growth offset a 2022 global wealth contraction. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
UBS' Global Wealth Report Wednesday found that inflation-adjusted wealth in 2023 grew nearly 8.4%. That growth offset a 2022 global wealth contraction. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 10 (UPI) -- Worldwide wealth growth in 2023 recovered from a contraction in 2022, Swiss investment bank UBS said in its 2024 Global Wealth Report released Wednesday.

The report said that global wealth grew 4.2% in 2023, offsetting the 3% loss the previous year.

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UBS said the bounce-back was driven by 4.8% wealth growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at 4.8%, as well as Asia-Pacific at 4.4%, as well as real growth exceeding nominal growth in 2023 amid slowing inflation that saw inflation-adjusted global wealth grow by nearly 8.4%,"

"People around the world are getting progressively wealthier -- and that doesn't just apply to those who already own great wealth," UBS said. "Upward wealth mobility is expected to become more pronounced by 2030 and, further out, signs of a horizontal wealth transfer emerge."

Within the next twenty years, UBS said, roughly $83 trillion in wealth is expected to be passed on, the rough equivalent of all the economic activity worldwide in a single year.

That wealth moves horizontally between spouses at first before being transferred to the next generation. Massive wealth movements like that create big change in the global economy.

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"The world economy is embarking on a period of profound structural change," UBS Chief Economist Paul Donovan said in a statement. "Such episodes often create significant changes in wealth patterns. At the same time, wealth is needed to finance the investment in both technology and people that will allow humanity and the planet to thrive in the brave new world. Knowing where and how wealth is held is essential to mobilizing it effectively."

The report found adults in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were the wealthiest on average at $166,000. Asia-Pacific average wealth was next highest at $156,000 followed by the Americas at $146,000.

Switzerland led the UBS national wealth rankings, followed by Luxembourg, Hong Kong and the United States.

Average national wealth per adult in 2023 was $709,612 in Switzerland, $607,524 in Luxembourg, $582,000 in Hong Kong and $564,862 in the United States.

Average numbers include billionaires and others of great wealth, skewing the per adult number higher.

The greatest numbers of millionaires are found in the United States -- home to 38% of the world's millionaires -- followed by China and Britain.

And while the Americas trailed 2023 global wealth growth, U.S. growth has increased from 4% between 2000-2010 to 6% between 2010-2023.

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Median wealth is the number at which half have more and half less wealth.

Those numbers showed Luxembourg at the top with $372,258 with the United States at number 14 with median wealth of $112,157.

"Backed by 30 years of data, the Global Wealth Report crafts a clear picture of how wealth is created, how it's distributed, how it transforms and how it's transferred," UBS Global Wealth Management Co-President Robert Karofsky said in a statement. "It gives us deep insights and understanding that we can bring to fruit for our clients."

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