Daily turmoil on a global scale is giving business leaders and investors plenty of reasons to stay hunkered down as they confront huge challenges in the here and now. Spreading sovereign debt woes, volatile markets, unstable currencies, political gridlock and stalled growth plague the big developed economies. Meanwhile, China, India and other rapidly emerging economies are flexing their strength as they adjust to the phenomenal growth that has been the biggest economic story of the past two decades.
In the conventional view, the current turbulence portends deep, enduring structural shifts that will set the business agenda for the foreseeable future. We fully expect macroeconomic shocks over the coming decade, with discontinuities that will shape the options companies have to adapt and grow.
Yet behind the dire headlines and day-to-day frictions of the marketplace, eight trillion-dollar macro trends are at work in the global economy. The pursuit by businesses and governments of the macro trends’ growth potential will touch many corners of the globe.
Europe, Japan and the US certainly face an extended period of economic turbulence and slow growth, particularly in the first half of the decade. But as we will see, half of the macro trends affect both emerging and advanced economies. Thus, while we embrace the exciting opportunities in emerging markets, we also see opportunities where many commentators see none right now—in the home markets of many of the world’s leading businesses.
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