Soaring personal wealth in Australia, only a few behind…

Analysis

Wealth held by Australians in property, shares and other assets surged to record highs in the past quarter, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Federal Treasury.

Federal Treasury and ABS’s Modellers’ Database” reveals that Australia’s Private sector wealth surged 6.1% to a record $8.58 billion in the three months to June 2007. According to CommSec chief equities economist Craig James the average Australian now has wealth equivalent to just over $408,000, up $22,000 in the past three months. He said that over the past five years wealth has doubled.

„Australians are not just doing well, they are doing better than previous generations by a country mile,” James said. „Once allowance is made for inflation, private sector wealth has doubled in the past five years, a result never before achieved. „Amazingly, while wealth surged in the latest quarter, debt levels barely budged. Clearly recent rate hikes and talk of more to come has caused consumers to get their financial houses in order.” He said the record-breaking run of the sharemarket has been fuelling the wealth gains of Australians, either through direct holdings of shares or via superannuation.

The Modellers’ Database figures coincide with the release of a Boston Consulting Group report, which reveals personal wealth grew faster in Australia than in any other developed country in the five years to the end of 2006. Much of that wealth was amassed as a result of Australia’s compulsory superannuation system, the report found. Personal wealth measured in US dollars increased by 19.1% annually in Australia over the period. That rise was more than double the increase in the global average of 8.6% annually.

The BCG report measures and analyses trends in personal wealth in 62 countries. Personal wealth is defined as personal assets under management, including listed securities held directly or indirectly through managed investments, cash deposits and money market funds. It excludes wealth attributed to investors’ own businesses, residences or luxury goods. Australia ranked seventh among all countries, behind only the rapidly developing economies of China on 23.4%, Brazil on 22.4%, Hungary on 22.3%, Poland on 22.1%, Slovakia on 22.0% and the Czech Republic on 19.9%. (Read more at wabusinessnews)

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