The Emerging Country That Flunks The “Acid Test”

Several weeks ago I sent you a video commentary on how important money velocity is and why Dr. Lacy Hunt is the master of this concept, which I now call the “acid test” for developed and emerging country economies.

The point you should take away from that video is that money velocity is falling almost everywhere. When that happens, it’s a clear sign of speculation in investment and the inflation of debt and financial asset bubbles.

This scenario NEVER ends well.

In that video, I described how the U.S. was the best house among the leading developed countries like Europe and Japan, despite our falling money velocity since 1997. I talked about China being the lowest!

Here’s a chart showing the money velocity of the four largest emerging country economies: China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Look at Indonesia.

The Rising or Falling Emerging Country

It’s the only emerging country with rising velocity into 2008, reaching to 2.90. It’s since fallen modestly to 2.63, which is still healthy and higher than the best-developed countries! Indonesia is at 55% urban and has decades of growth to come. It’s workforce growth trends don’t peak until around 2055.

Brazil’s money velocity peaked the highest at 5.0 in 1997. It was still as high as 4.75 in 2004. That’s when Brazil was at its best, moving into peak urbanization. It went from 82% urban in 1995 to 86% urban in 2010 and has made little progress since.

The South American country has fallen to 2.83, at which point it is still the highest of this group. It also still has modest growth in workforce trends into 2035, before slowing longer term.

The emerging country with the lowest urbanization, at 34%, and the greatest demographic growth potential, is India.

It doesn’t peak in the workforce until 2050-55.

It should see its urbanization accelerate when China fails and makes way for India to become the next “big thing.”

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