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RICH

‘Poor’ Spain sees 24% surge in millionaires

There are now 465,000 US dollar millionaires in Spain, 24 per cent more than a year ago, a financial services giant Credit Suisse reveals in a new report which highlights the unequal impact of the country's crisis.

'Poor' Spain sees 24% surge in millionaires
Despite the economic crisis and record unemployment there are now 1,766 'Ultra High Net Worth Individuals' in Spain with fortunes of over $50 million (€39 million). Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP

The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2014 shows that the number of people in Spain with a net worth of over $1 million (approximately €740,000) was up 89,000 in the first six months of 2014,  compared with the same period last year.

The 24-per-cent growth is part of an accelerating trend which saw the number of millionaires increase by 13 per cent from the middle of 2012 to mid 2013.

Even within this exclusive club, there is a 'VIP area': there are now 1,766 'Ultra High Net Worth Individuals' with fortunes of over $50 million (€39 million).

In terms of overall inequality, the top 10 per cent richest people in Spain own 56 per cent of the total wealth.

Spain was considered to be average in this respect and in line with countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and the UK.

But the tendency for Spain's 10 per cent richest to line their wallets even more has grown every year since 2007.

The average household net worth in Spain rose by 15 per cent during the period covered, well above the EU average of 10.6 per cent.

Credit Swiss noted that this was a result of equity market movements and improvement of the exchange rate between the euro and the US dollar, according to Spanish daily El Mundo.

The number of millionaires in the world is forecast by CS to grow by 53 per cent in the next five years, to 53.2 million.

The Credit Suisse results for Spain come despite a five-year economic crisis that has seen the country's unemployment rate grow to one of the highest in the developed world.

Five and a half million Spaniards were out of work in June, a jobless rate of 24.47 per cent.

The IMF recently predicted that the Spanish economy would grow faster than any other in the EU in 2015 but that unemployment levels would likely remain second only to those of Greece.

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ECONOMY

Unemployment in Spain hits four million for first time since 2016

The number of people in Spain registered as unemployed surpassed four million for the first time in five years in February, government figures showed Tuesday, as pandemic restrictions hit the country's tourism-dependent economy.

Unemployment in Spain hits four million for first time since 2016
Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Jobless claims rose by nearly 45,000 last month over last month to hit 4,008,789, the labour ministry said, the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

The rise is due to the impact of “severe restrictions imposed to combat the third wave of the pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.

The last time the number of jobless in Spain rose above four million was in April 2016.

Spain’s regional governments, which are responsible for health, have imposed various measures to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including shutting down bars and restaurants and nightly curfews which have hit the hospitality sector hard.

A broader, quarterly household survey by the national statistics institute INE provides the official unemployment rate, which hit 3.7 million or 16.1 percent at the end of December.

Both the labour ministry and the INE figures do not include the roughly 755,000 people benefitting from a government coronavirus furlough scheme as of the end of last year.

The Spanish government says it has spent €40 billion ($48 billion) since the start of the pandemic to finance the furlough scheme and help the self-employed.

Spain’s economy contracted by 11 percent in 2020, one of the worst performers in the eurozone, with its key tourism sector battered by the
pandemic.

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