Emerging markets are changing the way the world works by developing into global powerhouses. The latest edition of our “What’s Driving?” series identifies the six key drivers and the effect they have on the economic vitality of emerging markets.
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- Rapid Economic Growth: In the coming years, growth in emerging economies is expected to outpace that of the developed world. This growth is fueling an increase in household income in places like China and India, where nearly 60 million people—roughly the combined populations of Texas and California—are joining the ranks of the middle class each year.
- High Savings Rates in Asia: Despite rising consumption, households in emerging Asia save 17 percent of disposable income—that’s roughly four times what is saved in the U.S. and much higher than the developed world. These high savings rates allow them to meet the higher requirements for home ownership—many require at least 20 percent down—and have larger amounts of funds to invest in capital markets.
- Urbanization: The world’s urban population is growing by more than 70 million people each year. China already has over 100 cities with 1 million people and is expected to have over 200 of them by 2025. This urban migration has overwhelmed existing infrastructure like roads, sewers and electrical grids. The buildout of this critical infrastructure will require vast amounts of copper, steel and increase demand for all commodities.
- Desire for Social Stability: One main goal of emerging market governments to remain in power is to keep the public happy. They are doing this by increasing personal freedoms for citizens and providing them with opportunities to increase their quality of life. Many governments have found the key to social stability is focusing on job creation which establishes a path of upward mobility for citizens.
- Natural Resources Wealth: Many of today’s most promising emerging nations sit atop some of the largest oil, metal and other valuable resource deposits in the world. Many of these nations have teamed up with private and/or foreign enterprises to bring these resources to market. Revenue generated through taxation and direct ownership allows for these governments to build infrastructure, create jobs and pursue other economic opportunities.
- Corporate Transparency: A history of corruption and political turmoil has given way to higher standards of corporate governance in today’s globalized world. Though still far from perfect, the improved transparency and oversight has made important information available to investors and reduced uncertainty. By aligning themselves with international business standards and requirements, emerging nations will attract more foreign capital and better integrate themselves into the global marketplace.
These six drivers have helped emerging economies weather the financial crisis and provided them with a blueprint for success as they continue to strive to build economic wealth.
Disclosure: Long positions in emerging market companies