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Women and Economic Growth: Why One Strategist Thinks We Are "The Next China"

Women and Economic Growth: Why One Strategist Thinks We Are "The Next China"

By Jillian Kramer

To be called the next China is a serious compliment: If the country were a mutual fund, anyone who'd invested in it would have earned a steady 10 percent return on their investment each year, according to Business Insider. But in recent months, China's stock has been steadily dropping — and one economic strategist thinks women could and should be the world's next source of serious growth.

In a market report distributed this week, U.S. Trust's Joseph Quinlan says women are "the most underutilized and under-leveraged resource in the world," continuing to say that we're "wealthier and healthier, influencers and creators — women now represent one of the most powerful economic cohorts not only the in United States but also the world."

Why, thank you for noticing.

Quinlan writes that "thanks to rising educational levels, greater labor force participation rates and rising incomes, the global purchasing power of women has never been greater. Around the world, more girls are in school, more women are working, and policies are being put in place to treat women more equitably."

U.S. Trust, where Quinlan works as managing director and chief market strategist, estimates women earned $14 trillion worldwide last year alone — a number that's 40 percent greater than China's economy. In fact, it's greater than all economies but that of the U.S., Business Insider reports.

We've still got a long way to go, though. Even Quinlan sees that. He writes in the report that only about 50 percent of women participate in the world's formal economy, a "colossal waste of talent and a huge forfeiture of demand [and] spending." Sadder still, there remain countries "where women are still forbidden to work, drive cars, own property, and sometimes even leave their home," Business Insider reports. "From a strictly economic point of view, this ends up being a disadvantage to individual women and to the larger economy as a whole."

Last month, we reported that women could boost the global annual gross domestic product by $28 trillion if they were able to play an identical role to male peers in the workplace. And well aware of that McKinsey Global Institute report, Quinlan wrote, "that's very China-like in terms of impact."

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