Which economies will be on top in 2050?

Changes will cause profound adjustments in global relationships

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has some interesting predictions for businesses to consider over the next several decades.

It may be hard to imagine the world of 2050, but long-term forecasts from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) give us some idea of a world that will be both familiar and changed.

If the EIU is right, the top three economies of 2050 will be China, the US and India, in that order – and they’ll dominate all others in sheer size of production (see graph below).

The change in relative economic mass will cause profound changes in global relationships.

“Given China’s and India’s economic might, they will take on a much bigger role in addressing global issues such as climate change, international security and global economic governance,” says the EIU.

Of the next five largest economies, three will be familiar: Germany, Japan and the UK. But they’ll be joined in the top eight by Indonesia and Brazil. Nations like Italy and Russia will be relatively less important.

Among the other changes, if the EIU figures are correct:

  • In terms of income per person, today’s richest economies, such as the US, will continue to dominate.
  • In many European and East Asian economies, labour forces will start to shrink. Japan’s labour force will fall from 66 million now to 47 million in 2050. Germany, South Korea and Thailand will also have much less labour by 2050.
  • The spending power of a Chinese consumer compared with that of a US consumer will increase from 14 per cent in 2014 to just under 50 per cent – a significant catch-up.
  • Growth rates will slow in every region after 2030, as global population growth slows.

“The rise of emerging economies will continue to provide new customers and opportunities to scale up,” says the EIU. “However, despite their low-growth outlook, advanced economies cannot be ignored, as the spending power of consumers in these regions will remain significantly higher.”

1.77 hours

TIME PER DAY THAT THE TYPICAL INTERNET USER NOW SPENDS ON SOCIAL NETWORKING. THE NUMBER CONTINUES TO RISE, UP FROM 1.72 HOURS LAST YEAR.

Source: GlobalWebIndex; online survey of 200,000 internet users aged 16-64 in 34 countries

4 in 10

PROPORTION OF FACEBOOK USERS IN MARKETS, INCLUDING THE US AND UK, WHO SAY THEY USE FACEBOOK LESS OFTEN THAN THEY USED TO.

Source: GlobalWebIndex

This article is from the February issue of INTHEBLACK.


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