Wealth grew faster in the Asia-Pacific region than any other in the world last year, thanks largely to “remarkable” growth in China, according to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group. The region, excluding Japan, is set to surpass Western Europe as the second-most wealthy geography next year.
Private wealth — measured across all households to include cash, investments, pensions and assets but exclude businesses, real estate and luxury goods — grew 30.5 percent in Asia-Pacific, not including Japan, in 2013. The region has $37 trillion in wealth compared to Western Europe’s $37.9 trillion, according to the 14th iteration of the consultancy’s global wealth report. North America continued to lead the world in private wealth in 2013 with $50.3 trillion of the world’s $152 trillion.
Chinese private wealth skyrocketed 49.2 percent to $22 trillion, leading it to pass Japan to become the second-most wealthy country. Japanese wealth grew only 4.8 percent to $15 trillion. If the weaker yen is taken into account, Japanese wealth calculated in dollars fell in 2013 compared to 2012.
China is now second only to the U.S. with $46 trillion in wealth. While stock markets drove growth in Western Europe and North America, China relied on new wealth creation as its markets fell 6.8 percent. China posted 9.6 percent nominal gross domestic product growth in 2013.
The country remains second for most millionaire households, adding roughly 900,000 to hit nearly 2.4 million in 2013. China ranks third for the number of ultrahigh-net-worth households with 983, trailing the U.S. and the U.K.