Popular belief is that economic growth has been slowing for the past 50 years. The productivity of western economies has fallen dramatically, driven in part by negative demographic change, and yet this is in spite of profound technological advance during the same period. One could argue that traditional methods of analysing the performance of advanced economies are now redundant, and that many efficiency savings achieved in the last few decades have not been accounted for in quarterly GDP growth figures.
Either way there is a step change coming which is likely to have profound consequences across the world. It could dislocate the traditional East to West global trade flows. The advent of artificial intelligence, the internet of things and autonomous industrial automation has begun. It is important that this is understood to be a long term secular growth driver and why, when applied to the industrial and manufacturing setting, the convergence of these factors is going to redefine how global trade and commerce works.