More than 3.5m people lose millionaire status as inflation soars Business

More than 3.5m people were stripped of their millionaire status last year as soaring inflation and a collapse in global currencies hit the value of private wealth.

The number of people with assets totalling $1m (£790,000) fell from 62.9m to 59.4m during 2022, a report by UBS and Credit Suisse found.

Britain suffered the third largest fall globally, with the number of millionaires dropping by 440,000 to 2.6m.

The decline is the result of global wealth falling for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

Private wealth fell 2.4pc to $454.4 trillion at the end of 2022, as $11.3 trillion was wiped off the value of personal assets because of high inflation and weaker currencies.

The report blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for causing inflation to surge last year, forcing central banks across the globe to rapidly raise interest rates.

Higher borrowing costs have hampered economic growth and contributed to currencies losing their value against the US dollar.

Losses to global wealth were most felt across North America and Europe, which together lost $10.9 trillion. Russia, however, was among the countries which recorded the largest wealth increases and added 56 millionaires.

Nannette Hechler-Fayd’herbe of Credit Suisse said: “Wealth evolution proved resilient during the COVID-19 era and grew at a record pace during 2021. But inflation, rising interest rates and currency depreciation caused a reversal in 2022.”

However, the report pointed out there are still four times as many “US dollar millionaires” in the world as there were at the turn of the century.

Meanwhile, the banks expect that global wealth will rise by 38pc to $629 trillion by 2027, while the number of millionaires will increase to 86m people during that five-year period.

Separate research for the Bloomberg billionaires index found the richest 500 people in the world lost a total of $1.4 trillion in 2022. This includes the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, whose wealth dropped by $138bn in the same year that he bought Twitter for $44bn.

The net worth of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder and chief executive of Meta, took a near $81bn hit to total $45bn at the end of 2022.

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This notice was published: 2023-08-15 19:48:19

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