Allianz unveiled the seventh edition of its “Global Wealth Report”, which puts the asset and debt situation of households in more than 50 countries under the microscope. Based on the findings of the report, it seems that the best years are a thing of the past: global financial assets climbed by 4.9 percent in 2015, just a whisker above the growth rate of economic activity.
In the three previous years, financial assets grew at twice that pace, with an average rate of 9 percent. It is certainly no coincidence that slowing growth has hit Europe, the US and Japan the hard-est. In Western Europe (3.2 percent) and the US (2.4 percent), growth more than halved in 2015. At the other end of the spectrum is Asia (excl. Japan), where financial assets expanded by 14.8 percent. The region’s lead over the rest of the world is only getting bigger. This also applies in relation to the world’s other two up-and-coming regions, Latin America and Eastern Europe, where average growth was only half that in Asia. The days in which these regions were able to keep up with their counterparts in Asia are long gone. Of the total global financial assets of EUR 155 trillion, the region Asia (excl. Japan) accounted for 18.5 percent in 2015; this not only means that the proportion of assets held by this region has more than trebled since 2000 but also that the region’s share now far outstrips that of the eurozone (14.2 per-cent).
At the global level, however, the deleveraging process appears to have come to an end. Household liabilities measured as a percentage of nominal
economic output, came in at 65.3%, on a par with the year before. This is down 9% from the high in 2009.
Global net financial assets, which came in at a new record high of EUR 116 trillion at the close of 2015.