AS POPULATIONS aged around the world, economies would be held back and growth trends would slow sharply in the next 20 years, a report forecast yesterday. The mismatch of old people to the numbers of people at work was no longer a shadow only over advanced economies; it now extended to emerging markets as well, a report by Moody’s Investors Service said. This demographic time bomb, and related drop in household savings, could reduce the trend of annual growth worldwide by 0.4 percentage points by 2019, the agency warned. Between 2020 and 2025 the impact could be “much larger”, amounting to 0.9 percentage points, it said. More than 60 percent of countries rated by the agency would be classified as ageing by next year, with more than 7 percent of their populations aged over 65. – Sapa-AFP