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Each year we compile a list of the most read articles on Countries & Consumers, our market-leading economic and consumer insight database. A read through these articles provides an insight into what was top of mind for the world’s business community in 2013.

2013 was an important year in political, economic and consumer terms with stronger growth than expected in some advanced economies, counterbalanced by weaker than expected growth in some emerging economies. The 2013 consumer was still for the most part characterised by insecurity, with a “saving without sacrificing” mentality emerging from our Global Consumer Trends survey.

It was the year that consumers spent US$41.9 trillion globally, real GDP growth in emerging economies was at its lowest since 2009 and per capita GDP topped $12,000 in PPP terms for the first time. The number of BRIC households with a disposable income over US$10,000 surpassed 300 million for the first time and the number with an income above US$25,000 exceeded 80 million.

I hope you find this selection of articles from Countries & Consumers enlightening.

 

1.       TOP 10 CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2013

In 2013, spending on convenience is nudging into the quest for value while consumers are increasingly moved by things local. Dominant current consumer trends include the passion for eating and knowing more about food as a leisure activity, and an invigorated segment of mature working consumers. Living arrangements and lifestyles see different generations interacting more and most leisure activity is ‘connected’ while shopping has some tech elements too. A more gender-neutral form of consumption is emerging. Meanwhile, the power of particular consumer niches is entrenching, with brands trying to mirror and target those new segments.

2.       Digital Life and Consumers

This monthly bulletin on all things digital listens in to consumption as consumers themselves see and tell it online. News and trends are covered under the following topics: Internet shopping & “sellsumers”, citizen advertising and crowdsourcing (brands working with consumers to promote themselves, co-create and relate), frugalistas & consumer vigilantes, microblogging, tech-savvy generations Y & Z, social networking, mobile onliners and the blogosphere.

3.       Emerging Focus: Global Value Chains – Emerging Market Economies Take the Lead

Global value chains (GVCs) are shifting, with emerging market economies (EMEs), particularly those in South Asia, driving growth in the area. Improved production networks where different stages of the production process are located across different countries are benefitting trade, investment and the overall development of these economies. At the same time, greater interdependencies between economies also increase risks and challenges.

4.       Green Lifestyles Update

Euromonitor International’s bimonthly bulletin which sets out to bring you the latest on green and ethical consumption around the world in terms of consumer interest and purchasing as well as brand initiatives. We also aim to reflect the broad spectrum of green consumers beyond deeper green LOHAS consumers; everyone from ‘casual’ buyers of affordable, private label green products to eco-conscious drivers of hybrid vehicles.

5.       Special Report: Brain Drain: A Global Problem

‘Brain drain’ is when a country is unable to retain its most highly educated citizens. Most countries suffer from brain drain to a degree, and it can have a devastating effect on economies, with skills shortages reducing competitiveness and hindering real GDP growth. The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2013 measures brain drain through a country’s ability both to retain and to attract talent. Venezuela and Myanmar have the biggest problems with brain drain globally according to the GCI.

6.       Strategy Briefing: Mobile Cocooning: How Growing Reliance on Smart Devices is Influencing Consumer Behaviour

Recent years have seen an explosion in mobile web use. Increasingly powerful devices and apps are capable of fulfilling a multitude of tasks, from entertainment, communication and navigation to shopping, education and health monitoring. As a result consumers are becoming ever more immersed in their own digital worlds, anywhere and anytime.

7.       Top 5 Global FDI Prospects for 2013-2015: Emerging Market Safe Havens Dominate

In the 2013 World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) asked senior decision-makers in multi-national corporations across the private sector to identify the economies they would be most likely to invest in, in terms of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), between 2013 and 2015 to expand their global footprints. The top 5 is a mixed bag with some very telling results but four major emerging markets dominate the list. The USA tops the group, followed by China, India, Indonesia and Brazil.

8.       Webinar: The Digital Consumer Through 2020

As countries become more digitally connected, the importance of the telecom consumer continues to increase, impacting retail, finance and governance. Increasingly, emerging countries offer lucrative digital markets, with large, young populations and undersaturated telecom sectors providing opportunities for rapid growth in users, subscribers and revenues.

9.       Special Report: Short-Term Forecast of Global Inflation

In 2013, global inflation will cool on its 2012 level, going from 4.0% to 3.9% as the effects of the economic slowdown in 2012 continue, albeit to a lesser extent. Developed countries will see inflation rise from 2.1% in 2012 to 2.3% in 2013 as slightly faster real GDP growth boosts prices, while emerging markets will see inflation fall to 4.4% from 4.5% in 2012 as their growth patterns become more sustainable and the threat of overheating wanes.

10.     Emerging Focus: 2013 Outlook for Emerging Market Economies

In 2013, emerging market economies (EMEs) will continue to drive global economic growth with aggregate annual real GDP growth expected to pick up compared to 2012. However, as austerity policies are set to continue in advanced economies in 2013, the external sector in emerging economies is expected to remain weak. Therefore, the performance of these countries will largely depend on their ability to rebalance growth by turning to domestic sources of growth

 

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