For the first time in a decade, all the world’s major economies — including the U.S., the European Union, Brazil, China, India, and Russia — are growing at once. Many developing countries — such as Bolivia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and the Philippines — are seeing rapid growth as well, in some cases the highest in the world.
Only a handful have experienced zero or negative growth, namely war-torn or badly mismanaged places like Iraq, Venezuela, and Yemen.
To paraphrase one senior economist, the world is less reliant on a few “star performers” (namely the U.S. and China) and is instead becoming more interdependent and multipolar, with every country helping to lift the others up (this spreading out of economic development also ensure that the rest of the world can keep chugging along even if one or two major economies slow down).
Granted, there are lots of caveats to note. For one, it is still too soon to know whether the average person in most of these countries will benefit, although in many cases wages and incomes have increased. Moreover, this worldwide recovery is still fragile and subject to unpredictable political changes, such as in world leadership or policy.
Still, on balance, this unprecedented widespread growth should be celebrated, and is something to keep in mind amid rising nationalism and anti-globalism. So long as governments take steps to ensure these benefits accrue to more of their citizens, there is no reason to fear or oppose this development. Like it or not, economic growth is a global affair, and no country will benefit from closing itself off from goods, services, and labor of the rest of the world.
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