New projections from the US Department of Agriculture puts forward an idea of what the global economy would look like in the next 15 years – including South Africa.
According to the department’s data, emerging markets will continue their upward trend and gain prominence as some of the largest economies in the world, and at the expense of some of the more rooted European countries.
The department provides historical and projected data for 189 countries that account for more than 99% of the global economy.
By 2030, total global GDP is projected to be around US$122.8 trillion, almost double the expected US$71.5 trillion in 2014.
The USA is still expected to be the world’s largest economy, contributing US$24.8 trillion to the global output, though only marginally ahead of China, which is expected to move up from US$8 trillion in 2014 to US$22.2 trillion in 2030.
India is expected to catapult past Japan to become the world’s third largest economy, at US$6.6 trillion.
All emerging market economies are expected to account for almost 40% of the total global output, at US$47.1 trillion.
By 2030, South Africa is projected to be the 23rd largest economy in the world with a total GDP output of US$810.6 billion (R9.72 trillion) – up 98.4% from the approximate US$408.6 billion the US DoA data showed for 2014.
South Africa was the 31st biggest global economy in 2014, according to the data.
However, the country is not forecast to reclaim its continental economic crown in the next 15 years, as Nigeria’s economy is projected to surpass US$1 trillion by 2030.
In terms of GDP per capita, South Africa is expected to remain ahead of its Nigerian counterpart, growing from US$8,446 (non PPP terms) in 2014 to $16,592 in 2030.
Nigeria on the other hand is expected to remain relatively poorer per capita, moving from $2,648 to only $4,052 – less than a quarter of South Africa.
One caveat to the data is that projections are carried out on an assumed 4.5% economic growth for the country between 2016 and 2030.
It’s worth noting that in an African Pulse report by the World Bank, South Africa’s expected GDP growth for 2015 is set at around 2.0%, due to a slowed economy, weighed down further by an ongoing power crisis.