In recessions past, it has been the American economy that has led the world back to growth. This time around it may be the emerging markets that lead the way. Related exchange traded funds (ETFs) in overseas markets could be a way to play it.

China, India and Brazil were wounded in the latest market meltdown, however, these emerging powerhouses are ready to stage  a comeback so strong they could lead the world out of a global recession, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Bear in mind that they’re not going to solve the problem, but they do help. Nelson D. Schwartz for The New York Times reports that Europe, the United States and Japan were the old leaders, but are expected to lag this time.

This notion is also reinforcing the theory of decoupling-the notion that the emerging markets could be moving independently of the developed economies.  Higher oil prices amid a deep global recession has also pointed to a side effect of decoupling.

The increased independence would signal a move of economic weight toward the emerging countries, rather than the the developed nations. Once dependent developing economies will move in step with their own fundamentals rather than in step with developed countries.

OECD’s report states China could grow 7.7% this year and 9.3% next year, faster than previous estimates. India could grow 5.9% this year and 7.2% next year, and Brazil’s economy, after slowing down, will reverse this year and expand 4% next year. The United States is set to shrink 2.8% this year and grow 0.9% in 2010.

  • iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM): up 29.8% year-to-date

For more stories about emerging markets, visit our emerging markets category.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.