¿Quién cederá primero?

CHICAGO – Es probable que el crecimiento mundial continúe deprimido en los siguientes años, durante los cuales los países industrializados estarán luchando para equilibrar las hojas de balance del gobierno y las familias, y los mercados emergentes estarán reduciendo su dependencia de la demanda de los países avanzados. A medida que continúe esta depuración de la gran recesión una cosa es clara: la demanda global procederá en el futuro de los miles de millones de consumidores en África, China y la India. Sin embargo, tomará tiempo activar esa demanda porque lo que ahora se produce en el mundo para los consumidores de los países industrializados no puede enviarse a los consumidores de los mercados emergentes, en especial a los más pobres de ellos.

Si se quiere hablar de los miles de millones de nuevos consumidores en lugar de las decenas de millones que tienen ingresos similares a los de las clases medias en los países avanzados, se tiene que reconocer que muchos consumidores en los mercados emergentes tienen ingresos mucho más bajos que los de los países industrializados, y viven en condiciones muy distintas. Sus necesidades son diferentes y los productores en todo el mundo los han, hasta hace poco, ignorado.

Sin embargo, los tiempos están cambiando. Cada vez más los productores se enfocan en las personas, que si bien no están en el nivel más bajo de la pirámide de ingresos, comprenden una gran mayoría que está muy cerca de él.

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