A new report from research firm TNS could have implications for mining.
A survey of affluent households around the world — defined as greater than $100,000 — found that 80% of the world's wealthy live in Western countries.
TNS's Global Affluenty Investor study conducted interviews across 24 markets including China, Brazil and India.
It found that while growth in the BRIC countries is starting to impact personal fortunes, the number of people considered affluent is far greater in the United States. In the US, 27% are considered affluent, compared to around 1% in China and India. That translates to over 31 million affluent households in the States versus 3 million each in India and China.
On the other hand, those in developing countries that do have a lot of money, now have as much or more as their counterparts in the West, the study found. The UAE and India are among the top five countries where the affluent have more than $1m investable assets on average, alongside Singapore and Hong Kong. The only Europeans to feature in this top five are the Swedish, while the UK and France are the least likely in Europe to have these levels of investable assets.
TNS’s findings also demonstrate regional contrasts in terms of what the affluent actually invest in. While the Chinese, Indian and German affluent are keen investors in precious metals (cited by 35%, 33% and 23% of respondents respectively), this falls to just 3% in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands, and 2% in Denmark and Israel.
The Globe and Mail noted the results challenge hopes that the boom economies of Asia can supplant an ailing U.S. as the world’s consumer of last resort, and keep global growth ticking over.
The prices of mined commodities like iron ore, nickel, copper and rare earths are increasingly dependent on the strength of developing countries, which need the materials as feedstock for manufacturing everything from new homes to cellular phones and electric cars.