A quick link to something that has been discernible for a a while, and something that was clearly identified when we ran Future Agenda two years ago. However now the clever (and time rich) analysts at McKinsey has quantified it:
A thousand years ago, the economic centre of the world was in central Asia, just north of India and west of China, reflecting the high levels of wealth enjoyed in the Middle and Far East at that time, says the report, Urban world: Cities and the rise of the consuming class. At that time, Asia accounted for two-thirds of the world’s wealth.
By 1900, the centre had shifted to northern Europe, which had leapt far ahead of the rest of the world thanks to the Industrial Revolution. And by 1950, the centre had shifted to the North Atlantic, reflecting the economic rise of the United States.
But now that trend is reversing itself, and at a stunning speed. What took 1,000 years to travel west will have travelled all the way back east in a matter of a few decades.
According to the McKinsey report, the economic centre of gravity has been shifting east for the past decade at a rate of 140 km (87 miles) per year, and by 2025, it will have returned to a spot in central Asia just north of where it was in 1,000 A.D.
“It is not hyperbole to say we are observing the most significant shift in the earth’s economic centre of gravity in history,”
via World’s Economic Centre Of Gravity Shifting Back To Asia At Unbelievable Speed: McKinsey Institute.