16. December 2015

Prognos study Economy 2040 - Global conditions affecting worldwide economic development

The study Economy 2040 is the only worldwide report in elaborating long-term future forecasts for 42 countries, representing 90 percent of the world’s economic performance, conducted by Prognos AG. As a leading think tank for future-oriented studies, Prognos AG advises policymakers and businesses in Germany and Europe.

In this series, we will outline some of the conditions that will, according to Prognos, influence the worldwide economic development in the coming decades. Further, we will summarize the forecasts the study makes for the world economy, for Bavaria, for Germany and for the USA, and draw comparisons.

Global conditions

  • Globalization

Globalization is one of the key trends of our time that will impact world economies for decades to come. The Prognos study predicts a tripling of merchandise exports to 32 trillion Euros (close to 35 trillion US dollars) per year by 2040. This development is largely down to an increase in FDI and the ongoing internationalization of value chains.

  • Demographic change

According to the Prognos study, the world population will increase from 7,2 to 9 billion between today and 2040. It states that while the birth rate is on a decline, life expectancy is increasing. This means that the world’s population is growing but also aging. By 2040, the number of over 60-year-olds will double to 1,7 billion.

  • Climate change

Developing a universal environmental and climate protection policy will be one of the greatest challenges for the coming decades. According to Prognos, the correct response to the challenges associated with climate change should be adaptation, not limitation. Industrial states should lead by example and support the efforts of emerging economies through technology transfers and financial support.


Dagmar Cassan

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Dagmar Cassan