Burgeoning consumer markets usually bring the likes of China, India and Brazil to mind, but the top-five fastest growing ones aren't the usual suspects, according to a fresh report from Euromonitor International.
The fastest growing consumer market in the world is Malawi, a landlocked country in Southeast Africa, with a small population of 16.4 million consumers, Euromonitor found after analyzing markets by expected consumer expenditure and annual real growth this year. Consumer spending in Malawi, which is slightly smaller than the state of Pennsylvania, is set to grow 18.2 percent year-on-year in 2014, the report said.
Malawi's total consumer expenditure will likely reach $5.6 billion by the end of this year, translating into spending of only $335 per capita, the research firm said.
The growth may be fast, but Euromonitor analysts cautioned that such a low level of spending inevitably limits business opportunities. Furthermore, finding ways to invest in Malawi can also be challenging, as barriers to investment include a shortage of foreign exchange and poor infrastructure.
"In the short term, consumer market growth in Malawi will be supported by the country's improved economic performance (which will help to raise incomes) and slowing consumer price inflation (which will raise consumer demand)," Euromonitor said.