What if Mexico were to become a bigger economy than Brazil?
In recent years Brazil has outplayed Mexico, growing at 6% or more as Mexico bumped along in the slow lane. But lately that has changed. Last year Mexico grew by 4% and Brazil by 2.7%. This year Mexico is expected to get close to 4% again, whereas some economists reckon that Brazil’s rate could dip below 2%. A recent report by Nomura predicted that Mexico’s economy, currently half the size of Brazil’s, could end up the bigger of the two within the next decade. – The Economist
To get into some detail, in 2011 Mexico had a GDP of $1.15 trillion and Brazil with $2.48 trillion. It seems like a tall order for Mexico to more than double its economy.
But, if you look at certain sectors, like automobiles, Brazil is starting to face some growth problems. Originally, the country grew by exploiting is size, natural resources, and population. In order to keep up growth they will need to expand internationally with products and services.
Last year, Brazilians created 3.4 million cars and exported only 540,000. That is worth $372 million. Mexico, on the other hand, created 2.6 million cars and exported 2.1 million of them. That is worth $2 billion and reflects a growth of 40%. (The Economist)
Mexico may be more ideally situated for growth in the next few decades than Brazil is.
The past decade was all about the BRICs, the massive economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which kicked off at the beginning of the new century, boomed and are now slowing like the rest of the developed world. Taking their place is a new group of fast-rising economies promising businesses outsized returns.
The next decade could belong to the CIVETS – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa – whose rising middle class, young populations and rapid growth rates make the BRICs look dull in comparison.
Hardly emerging economies anymore – China is the world’s second largest economy and Brazil will take seventh place this year – that their pace would slow down was inevitable.
Now more connected by trade to the developed economies, the BRICs are feeling the same slowdown effects as the developed economies. And, in the case of China and Brazil, they are also wrestling with the strains of their rapid ascensions. Real estate bubbles, currency control issues and hyper-wage inflation are sending global companies elsewhere for growth.
Brazil is forecast to grow a mere 3% this year. China, while still targeting a strong GDP growth rate of 7-8% in 2012, is well off its double-digit rates of the past decade. Russia, meanwhile, which can’t kick its dependency on oil exports and endured the retrograde re-election of Vladimir Putin, may grind out 3.2% growth this year. India is also slowing, with a GDP target of 6.9% growth in 2012, a sharp decline from its 2010 pace of 9.6%.
Is Google making money off of YouTube? You betcha, Google execs told shareholders today, without offering the slightest bit of detail. Par for the course.
So, in lieu of real numbers from Google, here’s a Wall Street estimate: Google is making a ton of money from YouTube.
More specifically: The video site should generate more than $3.6 billion in gross revenue this year, says Citi’s Mark Mahaney. After distributing some of that to partners, Google probably records net revenue of $2.4 billion, he says.
Why is he even more optimistic now?
Basically, because YouTube’s traffic continues to grow, even though it’s already ginormous — comScore has it posting 20 percent growth, quarter after quarter. And because Google is sticking more ads on more videos
His 2012 revenue estimate “is likely 50% greater than Yahoo!’s Display Advertising total and right-in-line with Netflix’s total subscription revenue.”
A plan that could dramatically remake the Hollywood skyline and form the blueprint for denser development around the city’s growing rail network has won unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council.
Revised zoning guidelines for Sunset Boulevard and surrounding streets will make it easier for developers to build bigger and taller buildings, especially around subway stations and along bus routes. Supporters say the plan is a visionary change that will allow Hollywood to complete a 20-year-transformation from a seedy haven for drug dealing and prostitution into a more vibrant, cosmopolitan center of residential towers, jobs, entertainment and public transportation.
“If we’re going to spend billions of dollars to build a rapid-transit system, it only makes sense to put development there,” he said.
Unlike much of the rest of the economy, the solar industry is growing rapidly. New solar installations in California jumped by 21 percent last year. An increasing amount of that growth is from “solar leasing.”
What’s commonly called “solar leasing” is now the most popular way for homeowners to install solar electricity.
A solar company installs the panels for the customer for free or for a minimal cost. Then it sells the consumer the electricity for about 10 percent less than local utility rates.
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, “before solar was more designed to those who could afford a large upfront cost of $20,000 to $25,000. Now the average person can go solar and just start saving money, there’s no investment.”
Rive says the option is so popular that in some markets his company has a waiting list of 4 to 6 months.
As of February 2012, 5 million guest nights have been booked worldwide since the site’s launch in 2007, with a 500% growth in the past year and accommodations in over 19,000 cities.
I’ve now stayed at two properties (one in San Diego and one in Santa Barbara) and I’m officially on the Airbnb bandwagon. Here’s why:
1. Comfort: After traveling so much in my career, I’ve grown weary of the generic, cookie cutter look and feel of hotel rooms, even 5-star accommodations. Staying at an AirBnb is like staying at a friend’s house, with all the comforts and spaciousness of a home, like a kitchen and a comfy living room with books and magazines to peruse.
2. Amenities: I’ve started to deplore how hotels nickel and dime guests, especially when it comes to wifi and water. Both Airbnbs I’ve stayed at offered free, secure wifi and purified drinking water. It might sound trivial, but I feel like water and wifi should be included in a guest’s stay. And at our Santa Barbara rental, the owner provided two bikes, with bike locks and helmets for guests. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to arrive and jump right onto the bike to explore the city. Plus, there was free street parking just feet away from the entrances at both properties.
3. Cost: Bottom line, you get a lot more for a lot less at an Airbnb. And you don’t have to pay for all the hidden costs of hotels.
Not all people will love Airbnb (especially those enamored by turn-down and room service). But I get a feeling a growing number of folks will like what Airbnb has to offer (on both the demand and supply side) and it’s going to take a big bite out of the hotel industry pie.
The Economist published a barometer of world business according to 1,500 senior executives. It’s a complicated graph but very interesting because it shows North America will once again lead the world out of trouble.
Read it as follows, “Balance of respondents expecting:”
global business conditions to improve (let side)
their companies to have more employees in a year’s time (right)
On both sides North America leads the way with improving business conditions and new hirings.
“In North America more executives are bullish than bearish for the first time in a year. On jobs, the balance of firms expecting to hire over the next year has increased in all regions.”
More permits were issued in the Houston metro area than in any other metro, by far. Four of the top ten metros were in Texas. But this list is dominated by large metro areas, and we’d expect bigger areas to have more construction activity. Looking instead at the number of permits issued per 1,000 existing housing units…here are the top metro areas by construction activity:
Most Construction Activity (per 1,000 existing units)
Etsy has closed $40 million of funding from a roster of investors who have been believers in Etsy for a long time. I couldn’t be happier to have such a committed set of partners who “get it” along for the next stage.
What do we plan to do with the money we’ve raised? Two simple things, really: we plan to grow Etsy into an economic force all around the world and we want to provide more products and services to help sellers succeed and build their businesses on the Etsy platform. You’ve seen a start in some of these areas — our Etsy in German and French launches…
Looking back, Etsy was quite small by today’s measures — the community sold $7.93 million of goods in September 2008. We had about 50 employees and we were in an office in downtown Brooklyn with a broken elevator that famously had a sign that read, “You gotta press up to go down.”
Almost four years later, many things have changed. We have different offices near the Brooklyn Bridge, a working elevator, almost 300 employees, and last month alone, the community sold about $65 million in goods. Each month, 40 million people around the world visit Etsy, with 15 million registered members and 875,000 sellers generating those sales in 150 countries.
(2011 sales – $525 million)
We believe, more than ever, that Etsy can help fundamentally change the way the world works by making it possible for individuals to make and sell things to other people around the globe — a people-powered economy.
…we published last fall provides an inspiring blueprint for the better world that we envision:
Decades of an unyielding focus on economic growth and a corporate mentality has left us ever more disconnected with nature, our communities, and the people and processes behind the objects in our lives. We think this is unethical, unsustainable, and unfun. However, with the rise of small businesses around the world we feel hope and see real opportunities: Opportunities for us to measure success in new ways… to build local, living economies, and most importantly, to help create a more permanent future.