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In an article in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs, Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley Investment Management punctures the notion that the BRICs--and emerging markets more broadly--are set for an inexorable economic rise. Instead, he argues, they are entering an era of variable growth in line with historical norms. As he writes:
None of this should be surprising, because it is hard to sustain rapid growth for more than a decade. The unusual circumstances of the last decade made it look easy: coming off the crisis-ridden 1990s and fueled by a global flood of easy money, the emerging markets took off in a mass upward swing that made virtually every economy a winner. By 2007, when only three countries in the world suffered negative growth, recessions had all but disappeared from the international scene. But now, there is a lot less foreign money flowing into emerging markets. The global economy is returning to its normal state of churn, with many laggards and just a few winners rising in unexpected places.
Interestingly, Sharma adds that of the best-performing developing countries, many will be low-income:
To the extent that there will be a new crop of emerging-market stars in the coming years, therefore, it is likely to feature countries whose per capita incomes are under $5,000, such as Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and various contenders in East Africa.
You can read the full article here.