Countries with shrinking consumption are beginning to stand out, despite over 100 million people being added to the consumer class worldwide in 2024. A consumer is a person spending more than 12 US dollars a day.

“India and China could account for 57% growth in global middle-class consumption this year,” World Data Lab, World Data Pro.     

Africa will add 10 million, South America 6 million and the rest of the world 5 million new consumers in 2024.

So, which countries with shrinking consumption are bucking the trend of 113 million people entering middle-class consumption in 2024?

Countries With Shrinking Consumption
Three great powers USA, China, Russia

“India and China could account for 57% growth in global middle-class consumption this year”

WORLD DATA LAB

It probably comes as no surprise that Europe features four countries on the top list of shrinking consumption

Ageing demographics and a likely widening war on the continent could lead to mass migration of Europeans fleeing war, economic collapse and famine to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Central and South America. The new world has plentiful land, and natural resources to sustain a larger population.   

Typically, the youngest, the fittest and the brightest leave first. Where those good genes go, they multiply and create economic prosperity and consumption. Human capital movements impact capital flows

We would be watching population migration trends in WW3 and aligning geographic capital allocations in your asset portfolio accordingly.  

Young and bright leaving shrinking consumption

“Typically, the youngest, the fittest and the brightest leave first”

WIN INVESTING

Before zeroing in on the top countries with shrinking consumption let’s define some demographic changes impacting consumption              

Currently, more than half of the world’s population is considered to be in the consumer class, which means spending more than $12 per day. So about 4 billion people in 2023 are defined as consumers, according to World Data Lab.

Demographic changes are the major factor driving increases and reductions in the number of consumers globally.

“Japan is where the most significant anticipated decline in consumer numbers is expected by 2030” – Win Investing

Which country will have the largest shrinking consumption class?

Japan is where the most significant anticipated decline in consumer numbers is expected by 2030, Diminishing workforce and decreasing consumer base are mostly the consequence of the country’s low birth rate.

To date, more than half of all municipalities in Japan are designated as depopulated districts, with schools shutting down and over 1.2 million small businesses owned by older individuals or families lacking successors. 

Europe is also facing a demographic time bomb with a decline in birth rates and an ageing population impacting consumption. War on the continent is making the situation worse. Three years of the worst fighting since WW2 and an entire generation of young Ukrainians have perished in war with 80% of their elite troops now dead.

The situation in Russia is unknown, but there is chatter that Russia has lost as many soldiers as the US lost in the entire WW2.    

A wider high-intensity war in Europe would squander a generation of young European men.  

Shrinking consumption in Italy could hit half a million consumers by 2030. Births in the country dropped to a historic low below 400,000 in 2022.

The emigration of working-age individuals is also shrinking consumption in Taiwan. Between 2019 and 2022, Taiwan’s population shrank by roughly 300,000.

Shrinking consumption in countries negatively impacts bond and stock investors and is something investors need to keep on the radar in these troubling times. 

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