According to research carried out by German insurance multinational Allianz for its annual Global Wealth Report, people around the world are richer than ever before.
Despite the pandemic throwing the global economy into disarray, the gross financial assets of private households worldwide reached 200 trillion euros (231 trillion dollars) for the first time during 2020, Allianz announced on Thursday, translating to an astonishing 9.7-per-cent growth in one year.
Economists at Allianz are expecting the trend to continue too, and currently predict a 7-per-cent growth in global financial assets for 2021.
However, the study also suggests that the pandemic has served to exacerbate wealth inequality – both between richer and poorer nations and within countries.
Already, some 84 percent of assets are owned by the richest 10 percent of the world’s population.
The main driver of growth last year was the increase in savings, largely caused by the various lockdowns, during which many people were unable to shop and travel as usual.
As a result, the total amount of savings worldwide climbed by almost 80 percent to a record 5.2 trillion euros within a year, Allianz said.
Money simply left in bank accounts almost tripled during 2020, and global bank deposits increased by 11.9 percent, reaching double digits for the first time.
After deducting debts, the global financial assets of private households in the 57 countries surveyed increased by 11 percent in 2020 to a net total of 153.5 trillion euros.
The Allianz Global Wealth Report takes into account cash, bank deposits, securities, insurance claims and pension funds, but not real estate.