SOURCE: The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group

January 06, 2010 00:01 ET

A Two-Speed World Is Emerging From the Wreckage of the Great Recession, as Companies in China, Brazil, and India Prepare to Accelerate Out of the Downturn More Quickly Than Their Western Rivals, Says BCG

A Study by The Boston Consulting Group Shows That Business Life Is About to Become Harder, Not Easier -- Executives Will Have to Engage in a Dogfight for Growth in the New Era of Growth "Haves" and "Have-Nots"

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 6, 2010) - The world's rapidly developing economies are poised to live up to their name in the aftermath of the Great Recession and to reduce the wealth gap between themselves and their great rivals in the West, according to new analysis by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), released today.

From 2010 to 2015, if economies follow the historical pattern of postrecession growth charted by the International Monetary Fund, the long-term annual growth rates in the United States, Europe, and Japan could fall below 2 percent.

By contrast, it is likely that growth rates in China, India, and Brazil will return to levels closer to those seen before the crisis: for China, 8 to 9 percent; for India, 6 to 7 percent; and for Brazil, 3 to 4 percent. Of the BRIC countries, only Russia is at risk of seeing growth rates as low as 2 to 3 percent, far below precrisis levels.

This study, highlighting the fast emergence of a two-speed world, was produced in conjunction with the forthcoming book "Accelerating Out of the Great Recession: Winning in a Slow-Growth Economy" (McGraw-Hill, February 2010) by BCG senior partners David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter.

"The implication of our projections for the global economy is this: Business leaders need to prepare for a two-speed world," said Stelter. "Many developing countries appear to have dodged the economic bullet, at least for now. This should force companies in the West to realize -- if they haven't already done so -- that they are going to be in a dogfight for growth over the next five to ten years."

Added Rhodes, "The postcrisis era will be marked by the growth 'haves' and 'have-nots.' Companies need to understand this and to proactively develop business models that enable them to make the most of growth where it exists."

BCG's Simulation of Growth Through 2015 Shows the Emergence of a Two-Speed World

According to the International Monetary Fund, economies tend to have a significant "output gap" -- the deviation of actual output from its extrapolated precrisis trend growth -- in the seven years after a banking crisis. On average, actual output is 10 percent below its precrisis trend (an output gap of -10 percent).

Building on the IMF's findings, BCG has created a model to explore the effects of the Great Recession on likely growth patterns. The model shows that, in some countries, the output gap is likely to be significantly worse than average.

In Russia, the BCG model projects an output gap in 2015 of -29.7 percent; in the United Kingdom, -16.7 percent; in the United States, -12.8 percent; and in Germany, -11.7 percent. By contrast, Brazil is projected to be ahead of its precrisis growth trend, with an output gap of 1.3 percent. For India, the output gap is expected to be -2.5 percent; and for China, -4.3 percent.

To learn more about the study or the book, or to arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or gregoire.eric@bcg.com.

About the Authors

David Rhodes is a senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group and the global leader of the firm's Financial Institutions practice. Since joining BCG in 1985, he has worked primarily on projects involving major strategy and organizational change in large financial institutions, working with clients in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the United States.

Daniel Stelter is a senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group and the global leader of the firm's Corporate Development practice. He is also a member of BCG's Executive Committee. During his 19 years with BCG, he has participated in and directed many projects throughout Europe with a focus on corporate finance (including M&A, IPOs, due diligence, strategic alliances, and joint ventures) and strategy (including portfolio strategy and value management).

About The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 68 offices in 39 countries. For more information, please visit www.bcg.com.