What Lies in the Future Can Be Analysed Today
With the number of city dwellers increasing at a rate of 65 million each year globally, the majority of the consumer population will be urban. The average consumer will be slightly older, since growth among aging populations in developed markets is outpacing growth in the younger demographic in emerging markets although age profiles will, of course, vary by market. About 75 per cent of the 8.5 billion people alive in 2030 will have both mobile and internet access. The middle class in emerging markets will be substantially bigger and its members better off than their parents (average wages in China, for instance, are likely to be approximately 45 per cent of those in the United States, up from 15 per cent today). On the business side, consolidation will continue, owners and investors will become more interventionist, and companies will make better use of digitisation, big data, and analytics.
Spikes in input costs, even if partially offset by factors such as lower oil prices, could increase cost of goods sold and depress gross margins (in some categories, by as much as ten percentage points). Greater product complexity and rising labour costs could push up operating expenses by three to five percentage points.