Down with “Emerging Markets”

LONDON – It has been nine years since I coined the acronym “BRIC,” which has become synonymous with the rise of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. It has been more than seven years since my colleagues at Goldman Sachs and I first published an outlook to 2050 in which we suggested that the four BRIC economies could emerge bigger than the G-7 economies, and, together with the United States, would constitute the world’s five largest.

It also has been more than five years since the expression “Next Eleven,” or “N-11,” first appeared. That term bracketed the next eleven largest countries by population, and sought to determine their BRIC-like potential.

These 15 countries drive most of the positive momentum behind the world economy nowadays. China has overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest economy, with output roughly equal to that of the other three BRIC countries combined. Their aggregate GDP stands at around $11 trillion, or about 80% of the US level.

Domestic demand in the BRIC countries is even more impressive. The collective dollar value of BRIC consumers is estimated conservatively at just over $4 trillion, possibly $4.5 trillion. The US consumer market is worth more than double that – around $10.5 trillion – but BRIC consumer power is currently growing at an annual rate in dollar terms of around 15%, which means an annual rate of roughly $600 billion.