BMI is not just your Body Mass Index it is the acronym for Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia, the next big names in the emerging markets.
Goodbye BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China); 2015 saw the record breaking decay of the former top tier emerging nations. China is now classed as stagnating experiencing a modest growth rate, Brazil and Russia are deflating, so is now the time for a new acronym?
BRICs are crumbling
Last year was the worst recorded in history for the emerging markets, counted as the fifth consecutive decreases since the global economic meltdown. The World Bank reports that over the past five years these markets have decreased from 7.6 percent to less than 4 percent in 2015.
Only India remains from the foursome, with its huge population it has the potential to continue to drive forward. China is struggling to emulate India’s sustained success, but to do that it needs to transform from an export-capital-investment-driven economy into one more based on domestic consumption. Long term forecasts have downgraded China’s growth to 6 percent, a big step down since it began booming in the 1990s.
Brazil is drowning in high inflation and corruption, with analysts predicting the country will lose five years of GDP growth this year. The annual growth rate is now as low as 1 percent in a country that was once seen as the rising star of Latin America.
What about Russia?
The world’s largest oil producer is hamstrung by the plummeting global oil prices and domestic currency. The ruble is at an all-time low and Russia’s economy, faces Western sanctions and less than one percent growth rate.
So who will join the next acronym?
The south Asian country on the Bay of Bengal has grown at rates of never less than 6 percent since 2003, managing to avoid the destructive domino effect of the 2008 crises.
Most of its stable growth can be explained by its almost immeasurable population increase, now the eighth largest in the world at 170 million. Favorable demographics are also an important factor, as half of its population is under the age of 25, an age ripe for consumer products. The many Bangladeshi people that work abroad bring billions of dollars home each year, some 8 percent of the country’s GDP.
IMF long-term forecasts expect Bangladesh to continue to flourish in the coming years with 7 percent average growth rate. In terms of purchasing power Bangladesh will tie with South Africa shortly and is poised to become one of the world’s top 30 economies.
The country recently had elections which saw the liberal social democratic party come into power. This is the zenith in a long series of economic and political transformations, lifting Myanmar out of the doldrums into the limelight.
Foreign investors are picking out the country that is rich in energy and infrastructure potential. The population of 51 million is fuelling demand for renewal and development…
Private sector demand, foreign investment and increased exports have added to the 8.5 percent annual growth rate. Analysts are forecasting growth of up 8 percent until 2020.
You can’t say emerging markets without mentioning Indonesia. The archipelago, that is home to over a quarter of a billion people, has the world’s fastest growing middle class, tipped to reach 20 million households by 2030, from 17.3 million.
But infrastructural investment has been slow to link up the 17,000 island, thousands of which are remote. Demand is being driven by the new middle class, and over US$400 billion has been earmarked by the government for key infrastructure expenditure. 5.5 percent growth is expected in the next few years. Its membership of the trillion dollar club is more than deserved if it can reach its full potential in the coming years.
Comparing economic metrics, Indonesia is ahead of the BRICs and second just to China. Its economy is now more open and liberal than the BRICs, with a purchasing power recorded as 8th in the world. IMF analysts think Indonesia will overtake Brazil by 2018 and Russia by 2020.