The U.S. and China are neck and neck when it comes to having the world’s largest economy this year.
But there’s another race that’s already been won: emerging markets have overtaken developed economies when it comes to having the largest share of global GDP.
“This is clear from new IMF data released in April,” explained Jan Dehn, head of research for Ashmore Investment Management. “Clearly, both investor perceptions about and allocations to EM continue to lag far behind EM’s rapid fundamental advances.
“This is true in both equities and fixed income, but especially in fixed income, where allocations by many investors lag weighting implied by simple GDP weighting by as much as ten times,” the former Credit Suisse First Boston researcher noted in a report on Tuesday. “This suggests that EM’s long-term technicals remain extremely strong.”
According to the IMF’s April 2014 “World Economic Outlook” analysis, the emerging market’s share of global GDP hit 50.4% in 2013, up from 31% in 1980.
How did this happen?
These economies increased their share of global GDP by an average of 0.6% per year over the past 33 years, Dehn notes. And there’s no end in sight.
“Interestingly, the IMF expects EM share of global GDP to increase at an ever faster pace going forward. According to its forecasts, EM’s share of global GDP will grow by an average of 0.7% per year from now until 2019 to reach 54.5%,” the ex-World Bank employee explained.
The allocations to these markets on the part of most central banks, sovereign wealth funds, public and private pension funds, endowments, foundations and retail investors, are “massively below” what would be implied by simple GDP weighting, Dehn writes.
As for major emerging markets, the expert points to positive conditions in China, where manufacturing is stabilizing.