FRANKFURT Dec 23 The concentration of wealth
among the euro zone's richest households has increased since the
bloc's debt crisis, even as wealth levels fell across the board
due to lower property prices, a survey released by the European
Central Bank showed on Friday.
The euro zone's top 5 percent of households owned 37.8
percent of the net wealth in 2014, up from 37.2 percent in 2010
while the bottom 5 percent owned only debt, the ECB said based
on a survey of 84,000 households.
Suffering from waves of recession, the bloc's protracted has
crisis increased inequalities as countries on the periphery such
as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece struggled, while countries
in the core were quicker to recover.
The median wealth of a euro zone household dropped around 10
percent to 104,100 euros ($108,800) in the four years to 2014,
mostly as property prices fell, especially for the poorest fifth
of the population, the ECB said.
"The fall in net wealth was mainly driven by a reduction in
the value of assets, in particular real estate," the ECB said.
"In percentage terms, the differences are larger for the lower
"The net wealth of the 90th percentile - that is, the
household separating the poorest 90 percent of the population
from the richest 10 percent - is 496,000 euros," the ECB said.
($1 = 0.9568 euros)
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Alison Williams)