The global economy will grow by around 3pc this year, down from 4pc in 2011. The US should manage a 2pc expansion, while Britain and the eurozone will struggle. A West European recession, the UK included, now looks unavoidable. The emerging markets, meanwhile, will keep forging ahead during 2012. Even if China slows a bit, the world’s second-largest economy should expand by 8-9pc. The “big four” emerging markets – China, India, Russia and Brazil – now make up a quarter of the global economy. These “emerging giants” will account for the lion’s share of world growth in 2012, just as they did in each of the last three years.
Such countries aren’t insulated from the Western world’s sovereign debt debacle. Far from it. But with lower debts, much higher reserves, relatively stable banking systems, and trading ever more between themselves, the emerging markets will out-pace the “advanced industrialized nations” this year too.