When it comes to a robust working-age population, no nation will match China or India over the coming decades.
Even though China’s workforce is forecast to contract by 11% by 2050, as Harry shows above, it will still be more than four times the size of the U.S. workforce by then.
And, any slowdown in China’s farm-to-city workforce swell only gives time for India’s working-age population to catch up. While China has about 200 million more working-age citizens than India today, the two Asian countries will reverse roles by 2037, when India is projected to have a workforce about 15% larger than China’s. Take a look…
This comparison naturally pits the two countries’ economies against one another. And as their respective governments have chosen two distinctly different paths toward economic prosperity, it’ll be an interesting competition to watch play out.
The debate is far too complicated to cover in today’s issue. Watch for more detailed breakdowns of each country’s key advantages and pitfalls in future issues.
As a preview though, two of the biggest factors separating China and India will be industry-specific productivity and inflation.
Both countries have more productive workforces than fully-developed nations, like the U.K. Yet, with India’s growth centered on knowledge-based IT jobs, and China’s focused on manufacturing, productivity gains won’t hit each country’s bottom line the same way.
As for inflation, China’s massive loan-funded infrastructure building spree has many concerned about the likelihood of hyperinflation. Meanwhile, India’s infrastructure is crumbling, which poses less of an inflation risk but threatens to hamstring the country’s private-sector growth.
This battle for supremacy will take many years to resolve and likely dominate the global macro backdrop for the next decade. Keenly deduced differences in the relative path of each country’s economy will pay handsome dividends to investors able to tease apart key differentiators. Stay tuned for more on this topic…