World

Millionaires jumping ship yet another symptom of Brazil’s woes

Bloomberg

Two thousand Brazilian millionaires left the country in 2017, according to the New World Wealth, a global market research group based in Johannesburg.

For the third year in a row, Latin America’s largest economy featured in the top ten of countries ranked by the outflow of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) — those with assets equal or above $1 million — with over 1,000 millionaires leaving the city of Sao Paulo alone. Their destinations of choice are Portugal, the U.S. and Spain, according to the report.

The Global Wealth Migration Review, sponsored by the Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank, tracks wealth migration trends over the past 10 years. The report argues that wealth figures provide a better gauge of the financial health of an economy than GDP figures. “If a country is losing a large number of HNWIs to migration, it is probably due to serious problems in that country (i.e. crime, lack of business opportunities, religious tensions etc.),” it states. Over the past few years, Brazil suffered its worst recession on record. Its recovery has been anemic, and high levels of violent crime continue to rise.

For 2017, Brazil ranked seventh in the world in terms of millionaire emigration, behind China, which lost 10,000 millionaires, followed by India, Turkey, the U.K., France and Russia. Venezuela, with almost one-seventh the population of Brazil, lost 1,000 millionaires in the last year.

Figures from Brazil’s tax offices show that 21,701 Brazilians left the country last year, up from 20,571 in 2016 and 14,637 in 2015.

On Monday economists consulted by Brazil’s central bank cut their latest forecasts for growth this year once again, to 1.47 percent from 1.49 percent a week earlier.