MGI Research

Global balance sheet 2022: Enter volatility

The global balance sheet takes stock of the wealth and health of the global economy, looking at the assets and liabilities of households, corporations, governments, and financial institutions. For nearly three decades, the global balance sheet continuously grew faster than GDP, as described in MGI’s 2021 report The rise and rise of the global balance sheet: How productively are we using our wealth? This growth then accelerated sharply in the intense first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in 2022, early signs of a possible inflection point appeared, with greater volatility in the components of the global balance sheet and the first overall shrinkage in decades.

Assets and net worth rose 170 percentage points relative to GDP from pre-2000 averages, fueled by asset price inflation.
Real estate grew relative to GDP almost universally, and so did debt and equity.
During the pandemic, net worth growth accelerated, adding $100 trillion to global wealth ‘on paper.’
Inflection points were evident in 2022 on a range of key macroeconomic indicators.
Will the balance sheet resume its rise relative to GDP or start to unwind?
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