Growth in global financial wealth ground to a halt in 2018

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Gains in personal wealth globally ground to a near-halt in 2018, rising just 1.6% for the weakest growth in five years.

Africa, however, was among the regions that experienced the highest level of growth, and the trend is expected to continue.

This is according to the latest Global Wealth Report for 2019, issued by the Boston Consulting Group. The slowdown is a steep drop from the 7.5% in personal global wealth in 2017, and the 6.2% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017.

The report is BCG's 19th annual analysis of the global wealth-management industry. It examines topics including the evolution of personal wealth globally and regionally, the widening revenue gap and how institutions can narrow it, and the state of offshore business.

In a statement, BCG said "the amount of personal financial wealth sloshing around the world remains enormous" at some $206trn.

More millionaires

"The ranks of millionaires continued to swell," it added, increasing 2.1% in 2018 to 22.1 million. BCG estimates that by 2023 there will be 27.6 million globally. Switzerland boasts the greatest density of millionaires among its adult population at 7.5%, followed by the US.

From 2018 to 2023, the global ultra-high-net worth crowd will see the fastest increase in their personal wealth, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.8%, BCG projected.

African boost

Overall growth was down, the group added, although some regions did well. Among these were Africa and Asia, at 8.9% and 7.1% respectively. Gains were weakest in Western Europe and North America at 0.6% and 0.4% respectively.

From 2019 through 2023 wealth worldwide will grow at a compound annual rate of 5.7%, according to BCG.

Africa and the Middle East combined, meanwhile, are expected to climb 7.7%.

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