Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 02/2012

Industries in 2012: A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit

December 2011

Economist Intelligence Unit


With disappointing economic growth in the US and the prospect of outright collapse in the euro zone, it is hardly surprising that a majority of the 900 business executives we surveyed recently were pessimistic when we asked their outlook for the global economy in 2012. These survey results are discussed in detail in this report, along with our industry experts’ perspectives on likely areas for greater optimism. One inarguable bright spot will be continued demand growth in developing markets. Emerging economies, especially in Asia, will take an ever-increasing share of automotive and consumer goods manufacturing, and back-office support services for the financial services industry. The corresponding rise in household income will bring a wide array of consumer products within reach, from luxury handbags, clothing and jewellery to electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. At the same time, higher wealth levels will result in greater demand for increasingly sophisticated financial products, including insurance and asset management services. Reflecting these trends, 2012 will see the Economist Intelligence Unit’s product offering expand to provide clients with more local, data-driven insights on these opportunity areas.