Monday, August 29, 2005

US continuing to grow and lead

What will the world’s economy look like in 2020? What will the power relationships be amongst the United States, the European countries, China and India? Where will the largest areas of growth be? Jacques-Henri David President of the Deutsche Bank Group in France writes in Le Figaro
In 2020, the United States will remain the world superpower, with a total GNP of approximately $17 trillion to $18 trillion. Thanks to its dynamic demographics (1% annual population growth), a productivity and a competitiveness amongst the best in the world (currently second in the world and far out in front of Germany (13th) or France (26th) according to statistics from the World Economic Forum), and thanks also to its constant drive to create and innovate, and with flexibility due to the mobility of its labor force, the United States will maintain a clear advantage over China and India and will widen the gap with Europe. With average per capita salaries of approximately $55,000, the income of the average American in 2020 will be 1.5 to 2 times greater than that of a European; five times higher than that of a Chinese and nine times more than that of an Indian (approximately $6,000 per capita). China will indisputably be the world’s second greatest economic power, with a GNP of some $14 trillion, or three times higher than today.... Paradoxically, one of its handicaps will be an aging population, due to the delayed impact of its "one child policy." By 2020, the median age in China will be approximately 40 years, which will be higher than in the United States. The world’s third greatest economic power will be India, but far behind the first two, with a GNP of about $7 trillion.... In Europe, Germany, France, along with Italy and the United Kingdom, should lose ground in the world competition with a GNP per country of about $2 to 2.5 trillion. While European countries will remain rich in terms of per capita income (about $32,500), their relative weight will decline with their demographics and weaker growth (on average, almost half as much as the United States). Countries like Spain or Ireland will experience a higher level of development than the European average, thanks to a wider opening of their economies to the outside, the dynamism of their investments, good population growth forecasts and effective immigration policies.
Some of the French and Germans know that growth comes by opening their economies, dynamic investments and population growth. But this banker expects that they will watch other countries grow while they stagnate.

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