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What Does 2013 Have in Store?

I mentioned in my last post that I had attended the Economist’s “The World in 2013” festival. Here are some zingers (paraphrased) that got my attention:

  • Peter Orszag: Life expectancy for the poorest 30% of Americans will decline next year.  
  • Bill Easterly: China’s growth miracle is done.  The economic reforms that it began in 1978 unleashed incredible dynamism, but for that dynamism to continue, there has to be an honest, open dialogue among citizens and policymakers about improving the country’s growth model.
  • Dambisa Moyo: (1) 90% of the world’s people live in “frontier markets,” which are the real engine of global economic growth, not the BRICs.  (2) The United States and China have roughly the same income inequality.  (3) Democracy isn’t a prerequisite for sustained economic growth.  Even though the U.S. didn’t have universal suffrage until 1965, it grew rapidly before then.
  • And here are some nuggets from the accompanying publication:

    • Robin Bew, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s) chief economist, estimates that the world will grow by 3.5% next year in PPP terms (emerging economies: 5.8%; developed ones: 1.6%).
    • The EIU predicts that “China will add around $1.3 trillion in wealth to the global economy in 2013 (at nominal purchasing-power-parity exchange rates).  That’s more than twice the U.S. contribution, three times India’s, and nearly ten times Brazil’s.”
    • The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the U.S. will produce 6.8 million barrels of oil a day next year as well as 716 billion cubic meters of gas, up from 5.2 billion and 536 billion in 2005.
    • There were 4.1 billion people age 20 and above in 2005, 11.1% of whom were obese.  Charlotte Howard, the Economist’s health-care correspondent, estimates that those numbers will be 5.1 billion and 15.4% in 2020.
    • Here’s to a wonderful 2013 for all Big Think readers!

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      Photo Credit: Dirk Ercken/


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