Our consensus future: the lay of the land in 2025

31 August 2010   |   Commentary   |   By Mark Thirlwell

Despite repeated evidence of failure to forecast, there is a surprisingly strong consensus regarding the most likely future shape of the world economy. This paper describes this ‘consensus future’ and reviews some of the key building blocks, sketching out a possible picture of the world economy in 2025. It also highlights some of the key risks to these forecasts.

‘All of which gives us a world in 2025 that is richer, older, more populous and more urbanised. It’s also a world where the centre of economic gravity has shifted (further) to the developing world, and where the world’s largest economies are increasingly middle-income countries.’

                                                   Our consensus future, p 10

Key Findings
There is a remarkable degree of consensus regarding the future shape of the global economy.
These forecasts build on demographics, catch-up growth, and urbanisation trends to describe a world increasingly shaped by emerging markets.
Risks to this consensus future include our ability to deal with the big shifts in economic power between countries, the structural changes within countries, and the implications for resource constraints and environmental sustainability.

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