Will a new pride of economic lions take their place beside the Chinese dragon and the Indian tiger?
The term "tiger economies" to refer to the fab four of Asia dates back to the 1960s. (They are also known as the "little dragons" owing to China's influence.) Ireland adopted the "Celtic tiger" in the 1990s, despite there being no such beast—presumably it was worried that calling itself the "hare economy" would make it sound flaky. Scotland made a bid for "Celtic Lion" in 1997, on the reasonable basis that there is at least a lion on the Scottish Royal Standard. It never took off, though; neither did Scotland.Curiously, Russia's periodically hyperactive economy doesn't seem to have a common animal name. The "bear economy" is an obvious no-no, but people rarely use "tiger", even though there are tigers in Russia. Perhaps that's because they're Siberian tigers, which are in danger of going extinct. Sadly for Africa, though, the term "lion economies" and the associated predictions of an imminent boom are at least ten years old. Maybe they're hibernating lions.P.S.: It's a "pride of lions" and a "streak of tigers", but does anyone know the collective noun for dragons?