Euromonitor, the provider of the Global Market Information Database, has shared their top ten articles of 2008*, which provides insight into the main growth area and concerns in the current business environment. It should come as no surprise that the global financial crisis, even though it ‘happened’ late in the year made for a popular news item, as well as the interest in emerging geographic and generational markets, particular the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the millennial generation, respectively.
* shared with permission from the publisher
- Top 10 consumer trends in China
When former Chinese Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping announced in the 1980s: “getting rich is glorious,” the Chinese people held him to his word. Twenty years later, China has the world’s fastest growing economy, a truly amazing accomplishment for such a huge country. With economic growth exceeding 10% annually, year after year, well-managed companies will reap huge profits as China’s 1.3 billion increasingly affluent consumers exercise their collective economic clout to purchase enormous quantities of every conceivable consumer product. China’s per capita disposable income has grown at an average annual rate of 8% since 1990, drastically reducing poverty. As a result, China is seen by many as one of the most attractive markets for mass international expansion.
- Top 10 consumer trends in India
By 2050, India is expected to overtake China and become the world’s largest country in terms of population. By sheer dint of numbers, the Indian consumer market shows extraordinary potential. The Indian middle class places particular importance on lifestyle and branded goods with consumerism a significant aspect of lifestyle. As a result, India is seen by many as the world’s most attractive market for mass international retail expansion.
- The Next 11 emerging economies
The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) were named in 2003 as the most rapidly developing countries with the greatest economic potential. With these countries continuing to develop fast, albeit at different rates, it is useful to look at the next tier of emerging economies. Those countries following the BRIC path will typically experience high rates of population growth, creating a growing pool of potential consumers, at the same time as rising disposable incomes.
- Top 10 consumer trends in Russia
In the eight years of President Putin’s “managed democracy”, Russia has become a consumer power to be reckoned with. The economy is growing at an annual rate of 6.9% since 2003, and Russian consumers are chiselling away at the “sleeping bear” image. With Russian elites already overtaking Europeans in terms of conspicuous consumption, the consumer potential – and with it the scope of Western brands – is boundless once wealth trickles down to the bulk of consumers.
- Eating across the world: All you need to know about current consumer food trends
Euromonitor International’s just-out Strategy Briefing puts what consumers around the world are putting on their plates in the spotlight. It examines key dietary trends in both developed and developing markets.
- Future watch: Generation Y
Teenagers and young adults, the so-called Generation Y, have watched in horror as their parents worked punishing hours in their scramble for money and status. Now, as this group go in search of jobs, they have different priorities. They care less about salaries, and more about flexible working, time to travel and having a better work-life balance. People like UK student Alisa McNeil “’I saw my mum and dad work really hard, but my work ethic is different. I want to do well but I want to have great fun in life. Money and work are not the be all and end all. If you put all your effort into your job you lose sense of what you are living for.” How will the world be with Gen Y slowly taking over?
- Q&A: Global financial crisis
The global economy reached crisis point in October 2008 owing to major problems in credit and financial markets, which began with sub-prime mortgage problems in the USA in the summer of 2007. Many developed economies are facing a recession in 2008-2009 while emerging economies are also feeling the downturn, despite earlier theories that some developing markets had decoupled from the USA and developed economies. The global economy is predicted to begin a gradual recovery in 2010.
- Biofuel production and global food prices
Biofuel production has been on the rise across the globe due to concerns over energy security and the environment. This has contributed to driving up food prices, affecting consumers and companies worldwide. However, biofuel has opened up new business opportunities for the automotive industry and for investors in bio-energy technology.
- Global financial crisis: decline in short-term but recovery by 2010
World economic growth is set to slow to 3.9% in 2008 (from 5.0% in 2007) according to IMF revisions released in October 2008. Forecasts have deteriorated owing to a crisis in global financial and credit markets in September and October 2008, which some analysts consider to the most serious since the Wall Street crash of 1929. Strong inflationary pressures continue to be led by oil and food prices, which remain comparatively high, and while prospects for the 2009-2012 period are uncertain, most projections conclude that the global economy should start to recover in 2010.
- Food price rises impacting Asia Pacific consumers
Food prices have risen sharply since October 2007 on international markets, owing to supply shortages. This is particularly affecting basic staples such as rice, wheat, grain and soya, which form much of the staple diet of lower-income consumers in the Asia Pacific region. Rising food prices will have negative implications for consumers in Asia Pacific, in terms of higher prices for basic foodstuffs and the eroding effect of rising inflation on consumer purchasing power. Falling consumer spending will be negative for business profits.
UW-Whitewater affiliates can access more information on these topics and much more through Global Market Information Database, an excellent source of international business information.