BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhua) — Global wealth has soared over the past two decades, but the new crown virus pandemic and subsequent economic blockade measures could wipe out trillions of dollars of wealth and hamper economic growth over the next five years. The worst economic disaster since the Great Depression could wipe out $16 trillion in global wealth, surpassing the $10 trillion loss of wealth from the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group.
Over the past two decades, global personal wealth has almost tripled, from $80 trillion in 1999 to $226.4 trillion at the end of 2019. The number of millionaires worldwide has also tripled, from 8.9 million in 1999 to 24 million by the end of 2019. Together, these millionaires have more than 50 per cent of the world’s total wealth.
But the new crown pandemic has dragged the global economy into its worst recession in decades and could pose the most serious threat to global wealth, the report said.
“Businesses around the world are facing tremendous disruption, with millions of people out of work and most economies in recession,” the report said. While the pace of economic recovery depends to a large extent on the success of public health measures and interventions by governments and central banks, the epidemic will almost certainly lead to a short-term contraction in wealth. “
The report says there are three possible scenarios: a rapid rebound in the economy, a slow recovery and lasting damage. In their respective cases, global wealth will lose $6 trillion, $9 trillion and $16 trillion, respectively.