Billionaire wealth accelerates faster than global economy

Billionaires get $1 trillion richer as part of super-rich 'super cycle'

The combined wealth of Asian billionaires rose by nearly a third to reach $2 trillion, although that still lags behind the USA where billionaires are wealthier on average.

Last year America had 563 billionaires while Asia had 637, a report by financial services firm UBS and auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers found. There are now 1,542 dollar billionaires across the world, after 145 multi-millionaires saw their wealth tick over into nine-zero fortunes a year ago, according to the UBS / PwC Billionaires report. The U.S. also has the largest share of billionaire wealth - $2.8 trillion.

"This year we have seen not only a return to growth for billionaire wealth, but also a significant shift in its geographic dimensions". "Dramatic growth in Asian wealth shows it could overtake the United States in just four years".

The surge is caused by an increase in Asia's emerging billionaire class and growth in the materials, industrials, financial and technology sectors.

Nevertheless, the wealth held by American billionaires still grew by $400bn since 2015, the research shows.

Three-fourths of the world's newly-minted billionaires from 2016 are from China and India, according to UBS.

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"So they can be a billionaire one day, but not the next", he said.

She said she was not anxious that greater state control, as promised by President Xi Jinping in his address to the 19th Communist Party Congress this week, would hold back private wealth creation.

The US might be the wealthiest country in the world, but it's not churning out the most billionaires.

So how did the billionaires make so much money past year?

The major driver of wealth in Asia, according to the report, was technology. Private museums are growing in number and public museums are receiving more funding, increasing the accessibility of art to the public.

Tech billionaires have an average age of 47 - making them 12 years younger than their peers in consumer and retail. "Through their own passion for arts and sports, they are playing an increasingly important role in enriching the cultural life of communities", said Stadler.

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