Monday, May 23, 2011

World Is Moving From Mostly Poor to Mostly Middle Class!

India started off the 21st century with a boom by opening with the "Incredible India" campaign. The campaign was established to attract tourists from across the globe. But unexpectedly, instead of international travelers showing up, Indians did! Due to the explosive economic growth a new domestic middle class has established itself. And they have become a powerful in the markets abroad. They now outspend Americans in London.

The surprise of the "Incredible India" campaign is not limited to India though. The whole globe has witnessed enormous growth. The surge of prosperity has rapidly increased the global middle class. In fact, by 2030, the global middle class is estimated to double in size. By 2022 the world will for the first time move from being mostly poor to mostly middle class.

Asian countries especially are predicted to witness an increase in their respective middle classes. Experts say that they will constitute as much as two-thirds of the global middle class within the coming decades. This could likely shift the balance of economic power from West to East. To illustrate this, a study completely recently found that in a mere seven years China has gone from buying one General Motors vehicle for every ten sold in the US to becoming the largest customer. Their middle class ranges from 157 million to more than 800 million (second only to the US) and drives consumption allowing for the 15 percent growth rate in retail sales that China has witnessed.

There has not been a surge like this since the Industrial Revolution! The global dynamic is changing as the developing world moves forward. Brazil has increased its minimum wage and India has reduced tax rates to boost incomes. Foreign investment has been giving more people salary jobs, which is driving the demand for consumer retail, health and education in many countries. Companies are beginning to sell into emerging markets and are innovating to create market growth. China, India and Brazil are projected to compete with the worlds top five economies by 2050.

This story of upward mobility is a global story. Today's explosion of the global middle class has spurred an increase in economic, political and personal freedom and has created new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and multinationals.

-Gabrielle Gurian