Who’s worried about inflation? Stock markets are booming all over the world… In the United States, stocks have doubled in the last five years. That’s an annual rate of increase of 15% per year.
But the New York Times tells us that the US gain is small potatoes. Almost every other stock market has done better. Of the 83 major stock market indices, since 2002, 78 of them did better than the United States. The top performer was Peru – with an annual gain of 87.5%. Right behind Peru was the Ukraine at 83.7% and Bulgaria at 77.1%.
The stock markets highlight the differences between old economies and new ones. The places that are doing the best are the ‘emerging’ markets – where people are actually making things and selling them at a profit.
Among the “old” economies, only Germany was a top performer – with an annual stock growth of 34%. Russia rose at 43.8% per year. The Shanghai composite rose at 32.6% per year. And take a look at Vietnam! The Ho Chi Minh index rose at an annual rate of 42.6% over the five-year period.
“I spent 18 months over there, getting shot at…” says a visiting cousin. “I might just as well have stayed home…”
Markets and Money