The middle class in emerging countries has continued to grow and enjoy higher purchasing power since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis while middle-class households in many developed markets have had to cut back on their spending. Rising middle-class spending in emerging economies will create wide-ranging opportunities, but as the patterns of middle-class spending growth are diverse, companies will need to fully understand the target market and adapt their business strategies accordingly.
- Half a decade after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the fortunes of the global middle class remain mixed. Across the 85 major economies for which Euromonitor International has data, middle class households totalled 475 million in 2014, up from 430 million in 2008 at the start of the global financial crisis. However, 13 out of these 85 major economies have a shrinking middle class, and the decline is not restricted to developed economies;
- In a number of countries, where the middle class has expanded in size, middle-income households are not necessarily better off. For example, while Kuwait and the UAE have seen some of the world’s fastest middle class expansions, median household income in both countries fell at the fastest rates globally since 2008. This is because expanding middle class reflects improving income distribution while median household income is a proxy of middle-class purchasing power;