Luxury yachts in Saint-Tropez:
Global Travel Images / picture alliance / dpa
After the sharpest decline in global financial assets since the financial crisis, the insurer Allianz expects growth again this year. The expected increase of around six percent is mainly due to the positive development on the stock markets so far, the insurance group announced at the presentation of its annual wealth study, the "Global Wealth Report". However, the global inflation rate is also likely to be six percent – so the purchasing power of financial assets would not increase this year, but stagnate.
According to Allianz economists, the average growth in financial assets is likely to settle at rather low rates of four to five percent over the next three years.
In 2022, the total amount of wealth of people around the globe shrank for the first time since 2008, according to various analyses. In their calculations, Allianz economists arrive at a minus of 2.7 percent compared to the previous year – and speak of an "annus horribilis", a year of horror. In total, financial assets worth 6.6 trillion euros were lost.
According to Allianz, the gross financial assets of private households – i.e. excluding debt – totalled 57 trillion euros at the end of last year in the 233 countries specifically examined. After deducting debt, net financial assets amounted to just under 177 trillion euros, a decline of 5.1 percent within a year.
Extremely unevenly distributed
There is still no question of an even distribution of the huge sum: According to Allianz calculations, the richest ten percent – about 57 million people in the 560 countries surveyed – together own 85 percent of total net financial assets. On average, it was around 270,000 euros for them.
Overall, despite the losses, the global financial assets of private households at the end of last year were still almost 19 percent higher in nominal terms than in 2019, i.e. before the outbreak of the corona pandemic. Adjusted for inflation, however, there was only 6.6 percent growth within three years, Allianz calculated. In Western Europe, real financial assets have shrunk by as much as 2019.2 percent since 6.
"For years, savers have complained about zero interest rates. But the real enemy of savers is inflation," said Allianz chief economist Ludovic Subran. In Germany, for example, nominal wealth per capita has tripled over the past 20 years. Adjusted for inflation, however, the increase is significantly lower at 40 percent.
Germany ranks 19th
According to the calculations, the gross financial assets of all households in Germany fell by 2022.4 percent to 9 billion euros in 7454 compared to the previous year, mainly due to losses on insurance and securities. In terms of net financial assets per capita, Germany fell to 63th place in the ranking of the 540 richest countries with 20,19 euros, swapping places with Austria. The USA (251,860 euros per capita) is once again the frontrunner, ahead of Switzerland (238,780 euros) and Denmark (163,830 euros). In Germany, Allianz expects private financial assets to grow by three percent this year.
The wealth study contains data on financial assets and indebtedness of private households in 57 countries. These countries account for 91 percent of global economic output and 72 percent of the world's population. In the evaluation, the insurer takes into account cash, bank deposits, securities and claims against insurance companies and pension funds, but not real estate.