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Wealthy Americans outnumbered by Rich Chinese for first time

A Credit Suisse study shows that for the first time, the number of wealthy Chinese has exceeded the number of wealthy Americans as both countries continue to churn out millionaires.

The annual wealth survey of the Swiss bank released Monday showed that as of the middle of this year, 100 million Chinese were ranked in the top 10 per cent of the world, compared with 99 million in the United States.

“Despite the trade conflict between the United States and China recently, both countries have gone a long way towards creating wealth, contributing $3.8 trillion and $1.9 trillion respectively,” said Nannette Hechler-Fayd’herbe, Credit Suisse’s global economics and research leader.

World millionaires ranks have risen to an estimated 46.8 million by 1.1 million, collectively owning $158.3 trillion in net assets, 44 per cent of the global total, the study found.

More than half of this amount— 675,000 new millionaires — has been introduced to its large stock by the United States.

A decline in Australia’s average wealth— mostly due to exchange rates— resulted in 124,000 fewer millionaires in Australia, while Britain lost 27,000 and Turkey lost 24,000.

The report estimates that at least $100 million is worth 55,920 adults and that 4,830 have net assets over $500 million.

It forecasts global wealth — which increased by 2.6 per cent over the past year — will rise to $459 trillion by 2024 by 27 per cent over the next five years. The number of millionaires would also increase to nearly 63 million over this period.

The share of the world’s bottom 90% is 18% of global wealth, compared with 11% in 2000.

“Although it is too early to say that wealth inequality is now in a downward cycle, the prevalent evidence suggests that 2016 might have been the maximum for the near future,” she said.

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