Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ireland tipped for economic growth but Asia will surpass EU by 2050

Ireland is projected to be the fastest-growing country in the EU over the next five years
Ireland is projected to be the fastest-growing country in the EU over the next five years

Sean Duffy

The European Union's share of the global economy could shrink to less than 10pc by 2050, while Asia comes to dominate, according to a new report.

Significantly, the report says that the UK economy could grow at a faster rate than the EU 27 if the country can "remain open to trade, investment and talented people after Brexit".

Currently, the EU economy accounts for 15pc of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but that figure could diminish to just 9pc by 2050, according the report by financial firm PwC.

Germany's position is expected to slip from fifth to eighth in ranking of economies based on size, between now and 2030, and drop to ninth by 2050. France - currently the world's 10th-biggest economy- will drop to 13th over the same period. The ranking is based on measure of purchasing power.

For the eurozone's third-largest economy, Italy, the picture is even more concerning. The country currently ranks 12th when it comes to global GDP. However, it could potentially slump to as low as 21st by the time 2050 comes around.

Ireland is projected to be the fastest-growing country in the EU over the next five years.

Over the longer term, the shifting environment will offer the country an opportunity to exploit new markets, according to one of the report's authors, PwC's John Hawksworth.

"Ireland has a great opportunity to shift the focus of its exports towards faster-growing economies like China and India, as well as being an attractive gateway to Europe in a post-Brexit world, particularly for financial services operations looking to benefit from EU passporting rights."

The rise of emerging economies over the next 30 years will see a shift in economic power to China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the report says.

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America could slip to third place, but China will retain its place as the world's largest economy, the survey says, while India is set to overtake the US in second place. Indonesia could overtake advanced economies such as Japan and Germany to become the world's fourth-largest economy.

Indeed, emerging markets are set to have a significantly larger influence over the coming decades, with both Indonesia and Mexico expected to move into the top seven.

Vietnam could be the world's fastest-growing economy over the period and could overtake both Canada and Italy.

Based on the purchasing power parity measure used by PwC, Russia currently ranks as the sixth-largest economy and the forecasters reckons that position will remain unchanged between now and 2050. Brazil could rise from seventh to fifth over the period.

Colombia and Poland also exhibit great potential, and are projected to be the fastest-growing large economies in their respective regions, Latin America and the EU.

From an African perspective, the report finds that Nigeria could move up eight places by 2050 to 14th, but only if the country can diversify and improve governance standards.

The authors project global economic growth to average around 3.5pc per annum over the years to 2020, slowing down to around 2.7pc in the 2020s, 2.5pc in the 2030s, and 2.4pc in the 2040s, following "a marked decline in the working age populations."

They added that global GDP could be equivalent to 130pc of the current rate by 2050.

Irish Independent

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