The annual Merrill Lynch/Cap Gemini World Wealth Report revealed yesterday that there were approximately 19,000 individuals living in Ireland with more than $1m in financial assets (around €694,000), 5% high than it had been the year before. This is lower than the European average of 6.3%. 

According to, “Merrill Lynch’s chief investment officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Bill O’Neill said that...’it was down to high savings rather than a great expansion in Ireland.

‘The contraction in private and public sector consumption has been a by-product of the increased savings,’” he claimed. Not surprisingly, the number of “high net worth individuals,” or “HNWIS,” increased because the national savings increased from 1pc to 35.5pc.

The World Wealth report also indicated that there would be a consistent increase in growth, but only for the short term. Property is expected to fall in the future, while the unemployment rate will rise. The report also details possible “public sector pay cutes” and how “tax rises are all expected to adversely impact on wealth.”

For now however, O’Neill said that, “there is a recovery and that’s important.”

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Aerial view of Limerick City