Global billionaires’ wealth falls for first time since 2015

The global wealth of billionaires fell by about 4.3 percent in 2018, a new report has found, marking the first drop in three years.

The report, by Swiss bank USB and tax and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said that last year, the wealth of billionaires dropped by $388 billion, to about $8.5 trillion. 

USB and PwC said that factors behind this included “a strong US dollar, trade friction, fears of lower economic growth, and financial market volatility.” 

The report found that the number of billionaires fell by 57, or 2.6 percent. It said there were particularly sharp falls in China and India.

Last year, “wealth creation paused as equity markets around the world suffered their worst correction since the 2008 financial crisis,” the report reads.

The report said that the last time billionaire wealth declined was in 2015.

PwC and UBS executives wrote in a letter that prefaced the report that the 2018 wealth dip “should be set within the context of the broader trend of strong growth.”

The report noted that between 2013-2018, billionaire wealth grew by 34.5 percent.

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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