Total global wealth has increased 2.6% in the last year, driven by China and the US despite the protracted trade war between the two countries.

The findings are from the annual Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse Research Institute, which found global wealth soaring to $360 trillion in the 12 months from mid-2018. Over the same period, wealth per adult rose 1.2% to $70,850.

Moreover, the study found the number of millionaires globally had increased by 1.1 million to 46.8 million individuals over the last year.

The US added 675,000 new millionaires, while Australia lost 124,000 millionaires.

The contribution of the US, China and Europe to global wealth was $3.8 trillion, $1.9 trillion and $1.1 trillion, respectively.

The study further said that 55,920 adults in the UHNW segment have at least $100m in assets in mid-2019 while 4,830 have net assets of more than $500m. North America leads the UHNW category with 84,050 members, followed by Europe (33,550).

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By GlobalData

The study forecasts global wealth to jump by 27% over the next five years, touching $459 trillion by 2024. The number of millionaires and UHNWIs are also projected to increase to 63 million and 234,000, respectively, over the same period.

China wealth continues growth

For the first time, the number of rich Chinese people surpassed the number of affluent Americans. China had 100 million people in the top 10% of global wealth while the US had 99 million.

Credit Suisse CIO of International Wealth Management and global head of Economics & Research Nannette Hechler-Fayd’herbe said: “Despite the trade tension between US and China over the past 12 months, both countries have fared strongly in wealth creation contributing USD 3.8tn and USD 1.9tn respectively.”

However, a series of other studies have shown wealth growth stalling in China.

Last month, the Hurun Rich list of the wealthiest Chinese shank for the second consecutive year: “40% of the Hurun Rich List two years ago failed to make the cut this year, the biggest drop since records began 21 years ago,” the report stated.

“Whilst last year could be put down to a 20% drop in the stock exchange, on the back of a slowing economy and the US-China trade, this year – in a year when stock markets have risen slightly – the shrink in the list is due to the impact of the digital economy,” said the chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, Rupert Hoogewerf.

A separate report earlier this month from Wealth-X found collective net worth in China had dropped by 1.3% despite a small rise in the number of ultra wealthy individuals.