McKinsey: the world needs $57 trillion to keep growing

A car travels under rusty beams along the Brooklyn Bridge on September 18, 2013 in New York City.
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Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. believes massive sums of capital will be needed to keep up with the world's economic development—and private firms like Morgan Stanley and BlackRock are lining up to make money from the demand.

"We basically need to replace all the infrastructure stock on the face of the planet. It's an enormous amount—and then some," Robert Palter, co-head of McKinsey's global infrastructure practice, said Thursday at the Infrastructure Investor's LP Summit in New York City.

McKinsey estimates that $57 trillion of infrastructure investment is needed by 2030 to support economic growth expectations, mostly to finance roads, power and water-related projects.

Palter said the U.S. was increasingly warming to private capital to supplement government infrastructure spending, particularly at the state level. "We are at the early stages of a new market in infrastructure," he said.

At the same time, Palter warned that public-private partnerships—the kind that built new terminals at both New York City airports recently—would not be a "panacea" to funding shortfalls.