Published December 10, 2012
By 2030 China will blow past America as the world’s largest economy and global power will shift decidedly in favor of Asia, a new report from the U.S. intelligence community forecasted on Monday.
The prediction comes as the U.S. and Europe struggle to recover from the Great Recession but some emerging economies continue to grow at a far healthier pace.
The National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report concluded that by 2030 Asia will surpass North America and Europe combined in terms of global power, based on gross domestic product growth, population size, military spending and technological investment.
Further, the report forecasted that China alone will “probably” have the world’s largest economy, surpassing the U.S. “a few years” before 2030.
“By 2030, no country – whether the U.S., China, or any other large country – will be a hegemonic power,” said the report, which is published every four years after the presidential election.
China’s economy has already averaged 10% real growth during the past three decades, hitting an estimated $11.3 trillion in GDP in 2011. By comparison, U.S. GDP hit $15.08 trillion last year, up from $14.81 trillion in 2010.
U.S. intelligence also believes the global economy’s health will be more closely tied to the strength of the developing world rather than the traditional West.
In addition to China, India and Brazil, a number of countries “will become especially important to the global economy,” including Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and Turkey, the report said.
On the other hand, Europe, Japan and Russia are expected to see their economies continue to suffer “slow relative declines.”
The Global Trends report forecasted that the global population will hit somewhere near 8.3 billion by 2030, up from about 7.1 billion in 2012.
Likewise, demand for food, water and energy is seen soaring by 35%, 40% and 50% respectively due to the growing population and expanding middle class.
The increased demand for natural resources will be hurt by a worsening outlook for climate change as the “severity of existing weather patterns will intensify,” the report said.