This gif shows a massive India with a lot of economic growth to be had | 

The population of India is massive. Trying to imagine 1.2 billion people (roughly 4x more than the US) is tough. The following two maps put things into perspective.

Both compare India’s states and territories against global equivalents. The visualizations come from The Economist back in 2011. While the overall economy of India is big, there is a disparity between the comparison countries on population and GDP per capita. Uttar Pradesh is the size of Brazil with the economy of Kenya. In fact, Brazil’s GDP ($2.25 trillion) is greater than than of the whole of India ($1.82 trillion). Further south, Kerala has the same population as Canada and the economy of Papua New Guinea.

Interact with the maps below.
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US financial policy to cause short term problems for emerging economies | 


The recovery of the United States is not great news for emerging economies. The tide of investments that increased over the past few years is heading back out.

The news is great for people living in the US and the Euro zone. A much discussed recovery is actually happening. As a result, governments are making changes to financial polices that were meant to help deal with slow economic growth. Some of the policies, such as quantitative easing, were a boon for emerging economies.

Public discussions about the end of quantitative easing were enough to alter billions of dollars worth of investment portfolios. An estimated $64 billion in mutual fund investments was taken out of emerging markets between June and August last year. Much of the rise and fall of the investments can be tied to the policy of quantitative easing carried out by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

“Five years of unconventional monetary policies in developed countries to address the impact of the global financial crisis led to increased capital flows to developing countries as investors searched for yields as developed countries’ interest rates were kept at historic lows,” explains a new report by the Overseas Development Institute.

“The potential for the unwinding of these unconventional policies caused global instability from May 2013, especially in emerging economies such as India (initially), Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Brazil.”
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Dengue fever spreading: The view from Brazil | 

This is a guest post by Miriam R. Alvarado, a post-bachelor fellow and global health data specialist at the UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

The global rise in dengue cases (somewhat dated, but the trend is the point....)
The global rise in dengue cases (somewhat dated, but the trend is the point….)

Dengue, aka breakbone fever, is rapidly expanding its reach across the planet.

Dengue is the fastest growing disease in Brazil. From 1990 to 2010, the median percent change in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) was 1040%, as shown in the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) online arrow diagram data visualization tool below.

In 1990, in Brazil, there were 78,000 cases of dengue according to the latest Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. By 2010, this number had increased to over 980,000 cases. The BBC reported that there had already been 200,000 cases in January and February alone of this year.

The rapid rise in dengue cases in Brazil is not unique. Many countries in the region and elsewhere have experienced increases in the burden of dengue. Proven strategies exist to combat dengue and the dengue-causing mosquito, and new approaches are being developed.

But Brazil’s battle against dengue is worth special scrutiny because this country is one of the world’s up-and-coming ‘emerging markets,’ and improving health is a top priority on its development agenda. How is it doing against the spread of this expanding mosquito-borne disease?


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BRICS rapid growth slowing down, may have been unique | 

The main feature of the new issue of The Economist is on the emerging economies. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa make up the group better known as the BRICS. In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis the economies of the BRICS managed to roar onward and upward. Analysts thought this was a crucial moment for the countries and a sign that the Western standard bearers had some company that would change the global economic landscape.

Five years later the BRICS are not looking so great. All are growing, but things are leveling off for most. Economics correspondent Ryan Avent says (see video) that the booming growth may have been a unique set of circumstances as opposed to a new trend. He says that China took advantage of existing global trade to achieve massive growth. That was held back by high poverty levels and poor policies. Changes helped propel China forward in a way that benefited many other countries around the world.

Now that China has caught up so much to the world’s leading economies there is less room to continue growth at a rapid pace. That has impacts on fellow BRICS and other emerging economies. Most of all, what China did is not necessarily something that other nations can replicate. So that leaves us with wondering what will come next.

Celeb Twitter Mistakes Teach Brazilian Kids | 

Grammar mavens cringe at the sight of blatant errors. Twitter is rife with such errors and celebrities are among the major offenders. So what to do?

Well, one school in Brazil is providing a correction service. Kids at the English language Red Balloon school send kind and sometimes cheeky tweets to celebrities to correct their grammar. That’s right, children learning English as a second language are helping out native speakers on Twitter.

It is brilliant.

Singer Rihanna tweeted this as a caption for an Instagram picture.

Fortunately for her, Carolina comes to the rescue.

See more examples over at BuzzFeed.

HT @bjrigby

Emerging markets turn into a pumpkin for investors | 


When the global economy took a massive hit in late 2008 it was the emerging markets, countries like India, China and Brazil, that picked up the slack for the older Western powers. These countries managed to maintain strong growth and attack plenty of attention from investment and development experts.

Nearly five years later the same countries are showing continued growth while the United States, UK, France and more trudge along. One would suspect that investors would look to the strong growth of emerging markets for financial gains.

Turns out the opposite is happening. As the US begins to get back in order money is rushing out of emerging markets, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“It feels like the party is ending,” said Howard Wong, managing director at Doric Capital Corp. in Hong Kong.

Facing the loss of foreign capital, central banks in these emerging markets have attempted to prop up their home currencies. Continue reading

Sinking BRICS? How the emerging nations may, or may not, tip the global balance | 

Quarta-feira, 27 de marçoA meeting of the major middle-income countries in South Africa garnered plenty of attention, but produced little in terms of actual policies.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) account for over 40% of the world’s population, 1/4 of the world’s GDP and are responsible for 55% of the global economic growth since 2009. The BRICS have raced onward in the face of the financial downturn and are poised to take a larger share of the global economy in the coming years.

What will this mean for development, for the global push to reduce poverty, inequity and the so-called north-south imbalance of power. Some experts think not much, because the BRICS are more a concept than a cohesive force. Continue reading

Brazil, China and other “emerging” nations want to take the lead on aid and development | 

The group of nations known (by wonks anyway) as BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are fast moving away from being recipients of foreign assistance and toward taking a more active role as donors, drivers of aid and development.

It’s worth paying attention to this shift, what’s driving it and the broader implications beginning with the prediction that the U.S. will soon be second to China as a world economic power. These ‘development’ issues may soon be viewed less as charitable America sending help overseas and more about assuring that a globalized world doesn’t simply increase inequities everywhere.

Flickr, Blog do Planalto

BRICS 2011 meeting in China

At this group’s recent summit meeting in New Delhi, these countries which now represent half the world’s population said they want more of a say in how the world fights poverty, reduces inequities and who gets to make the decisions. As the Mail & Guardian online reported, the BRICS are reshaping a reluctant world order partly out of anger at the West’s historic dominance:

The BRICS grouping’s political clout has grown with its importance to the world economy and the latest summit declared its intention to set up (its own) development bank.

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