Amid economic gloom, household wealth grows 5.2 per cent, debt 11.5 per cent

Chennai: Amidst the economic slowdown, India’s household wealth grew 5.2 per cent to $12.6 trillion in 2019. But its household debt grew faster at 11.5 per cent, says a report.

As per the Global Wealth Report by Swiss bank Credit Suisse, Indian households added $625 billion by mid-2019 from mid-2018 levels, taking their total wealth to $12.6 trillion. The country recorded 5.2 per cent growth in household wealth, which was higher than the global growth of 2.6 per cent. Total wealth in India increased four-fold between 2000 and 2019.

Credit Suisse finds that personal wealth in India is dominated by property and other real assets, which make up the bulk of household assets.

Growing by 6.9 per cent or $708 billion in absolute terms, non-financial assets had a higher share in the wealth of households. This included real estate and gold. Financial assets grew by $37 billion, or by 1.4 per cent, in 2019.

Much of the year-on-year variation in wealth levels is due to changes in asset prices and exchange rates. Exchange-rate fluctuations between the dollar and the local currency are mostly the source of the biggest gains and losses, finds the study. Further, India with 6 per cent and China with 9 per cent rise in prices were among the nations experiencing a robust housing market. Gold too has appreciated significantly this year.

Wealth per adult grew a bit slower in India at 3.3 per cent to $14,569 in 2019. But this was higher than the global growth of 1.2 per cent. Wealth per adult grew by an average of 11 per cent annually over the period 2000-2019. Prior to 2008, wealth rose strongly, from $2,127 in 2000 to $6,378 in 2007. After falling 29 per cent in 2008, it rebounded and grew at an average rate of 12 per cent up to 2019.

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