The number of millionaires in Spain increased by 13 percent to 402,000 between the middle of last year and the middle of this year, despite the country being mired in its longest recession in half a century. That’s according to the latest Global Wealth Report, which was released Wednesday by the research department of Swiss bank Credit Suisse.
The good fortune of the well-heeled contrasts with the afflictions of the close to six million Spaniards looking for work, while many of those still fortunate to have a job have seen their salaries cut as a result of the government’s austerity drive and ongoing internal devaluation.
Credit Suisse attributes the increase in the number of millionaires in Spain and other countries in the euro zone to a recovery in the stock market and a favorable euro-dollar exchange rate. The gains were more than enough to offset the fall in house prices in Spain.
In absolute terms, the number of Spaniards worth more than a million dollars (some 740,000 euros) increased by 47,000 in the latest period covered by Credit Suisse’s report. That was the eighth-biggest increase among developed countries. Top of the table was the United States followed by France and Germany. In contrast, the number of dollar millionaires in Japan, Brazil, Russia and Egypt, among others, fell.
“It may seem strange that the euro zone acquired so many new millionaires last year, most notably in France (287,000), Germany (221,000), Italy (127,000), Spain (47,000) and Belgium (38,000); but this simply compensates in part for the big drop in millionaire numbers experienced a year ago,” the Credit Suisse report said.
There were 13.2 million millionaires in the United States in the period covered, while Spain was ranked eighth among developed countries in this regard. In total, there were 32 million people with assets of over a million dollars. At the lower end of the scale there were 1.066 billion people with an annual income of between $10,000 and $100,000, while 69 percent of the world’s population, some 3.2 billion, had income of under $10,000 a year.