The greatest global boom of all time has barely begun. Over the next forty years, economic growth will quicken yet further as the rising powers of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America reach their full stride.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 6:00AM GMT 05 Jan 2011
Crunching everything from fertility rates to schooling levels and the rule of law, HSBC predicts that the world's economic output will triple again by 2050, provided the major states can avoid conflict - trade wars, or worse - and defeat the Malthusian threat of food and water limits. Growth will rise to 3pc on average, up from 2pc over the last decade.
In a sweeping report entitled "The World in 2050", the bank said China would snatch the top slot as expected, but only narrowly. China at $24.6 trillion (constant 2000 dollars) and the US at $22.3 trillion will together tower over the global economy in bipolar condominium - or simply the G2 - with India at $8.2 trillion far behind in third slot, and parts of Europe slithering into oblivion.
Turkey will vault past Russia, settling an Ottoman score. Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia will all move into the top 20. Muslim societies may start to reassert an economic clout unseen since the late Caliphate. Yet Brazil may disappoint again, stalling at 7th place in 2050 as its birthrate slows sharply and bad schools exact their toll.
The surprise is how well the Anglo-Saxon states hold up under HSBC's model, which is based on the theoretical work of Harvard professor Robert Barro. America's high fertility rate (2.1) will allow it too keep adding manpower long after China's workforce has begun to contract in 2020s and as even India starts to age in the 2040s.
An eightfold jump in the per capita income of China and India will keep growth brisk despite demographic headwinds, but they will not come to close to matching US living standards. Americans will be three times richer than the Chinese in 2050.
Click to view image: 'USChina'
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