Chinese millionaires will double in 2026 despite economic slowdown, according to Credit Suisse

By Selena Li

HONGKONGSep 20 – The number of Chinese millionaires is expected to double by 2026, according to a Credit Suisse report released on Tuesday, despite Beijing’s nationwide campaign to reduce wealth inequality and a sharp slowdown in the economy.

The total wealth of Chinese households reached 85.1 trillion dollars in 2021, up 15.1% or $11.2 trillion than in 2020.

Beijing’s push for “common prosperity” has intensified in official rhetoric in recent years, as has a crackdown on excesses in sectors such as technology and private education, which has rattled investors.

In 2021, China had 6.2 million millionaires, more than one million more than in 2020, while globally the total number of millionaires increased by 5.2 million. That number in China is expected to double to 12.2 million within five years, according to the report.

The bullish outlook for wealth growth in China comes despite the fact that the world’s second-largest economy narrowly avoided contraction in the second quarter, and that widespread lockdowns due to covid-19 and the fall in the real estate sector affected consumer and business confidence.

Global household wealth grew by 12.7% in 2021, the fastest annual rate ever recorded without taking currency factors into account, but the outlook was clouded by rising geopolitical and financial uncertainty.

Global household wealth reached $463.6 trillion at the end of 2021, driven above all by a sharp rise in financial assets, which worsened inequality last year.

The United States, China and Canada led the expansion in household wealth, according to the report, noting that they saw increases of $19.5 trillion, $11.2 trillion and $1.8 trillion, respectively.

“It is probably too early to fully assess the impact of inflation, the Ukraine crisis, the supply chain crisis, but we will probably see some reversals in global wealth gains” in 2022, said Axel Lehmann, president of the Credit Suisse directory.

However, the Swiss private bank remains bullish on the five-year growth outlook, with global household wealth expected to rise by $169 trillion by 2026.

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