The United Stated with a GDP of $13.8 trillion is the world’s No.1. The US economy grew in the first quarter by 1 per cent. However, the recession has battered the economy. By June 2008, the economy fell into a recession. In the third quarter of 2008, the GDP shrunk by 0.5 per cent, the biggest fall since 2001. The 6.4 per cent fall in spending during Q3 on non-durable goods, like clothing and food, was the largest since 1950. About 2.6 million Americans lost their jobs in 2008, the worst since the end of World War II.
Japan is the world’s second largest economy with a GDP of $43.7 trillion. With a huge fall in exports, Japan has moved deeper into recession in the fourth quarter. Japan’s GDP has fallen at an annual rate of 0.4 percent from July to September 2008, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. Japan’s previous recession was in 2001, after the dot-com bust in the United States. Japanese exports plunged a record 35 percent in December as the recession led to a fall in electronics and automobiles. Bank of Japan said the economy will shrink by 1.8 per cent this financial year.
China has steered ahead of Germany as the world’s third largest economy after the United States and Japan. It saw a GDP growth rate of 13 per cent in 2007. China revised the growth rate of its gross domestic product (GDP) for 2007 to 13 per cent from 11.9 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. The pace was the fastest since 1994 when the GDP expanded by 13.1 per cent, according to the NBS data. Final verification showed the GDP totaled $3.76 trillion. However, the recession has taken a toll on the economy. The growth in manufacturing has fallen sharply in the fourth quarter. The GDP growth in the fourth dropped to 6.8 per cent, pulling down the full year growth down to 9 per cent from 13 per cent in 2007.
Germany has been pushed to the 4th position after being ranked third for many years. Its GDP stands at $32.9 trillion. Falling exports saw the German economy’s GDP fall by half a percent in July, August and September, which was the second straight quarter of decline. The European economy saw its first recession in 15 years. Europe is facing the worst financial crisis since the great depression. The GDP in the 15 euro nations contracted by 0.2 per cent during August, September and October 2008.
The fifth largest economy, United Kingdom fell by 0.5 per cent July and September. The GDP of the fifth largest economy stood at $27.2 trillion. The Economist Intelligence Unit in its forecast said the UK economy will “stagnate” during 2009. It said UK GDP growth will fall from 3.1 per cent in 2007, to one per cent in 2008 and it will contract 0.8 per cent in 2009. The economy shrank in the third quarter for the first time since 1992.
France is the 6th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $25.6 trillion. The French economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the second quarter of the year. However, the gross domestic product grew by 0.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2008. The International Monetary Fund has forecast a 0.5 percent fall of the French economy in 2009. President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a 26-billion-euro stimulus plan in December to fight the crisis.
Italy with a GDP of $21 trillion, is the 7th largest economy in the world. The Italian economy fell in the third quarter of 2008 for the second consecutive quarter. The GDP fell by 0.5 per cent on a quarter-ago basis, after a revised drop of 0.4 per cent in the second quarter.
The world’s 8th largest economy is Spain with a GDP of $14.2 trillion. Spain has been trapped under a recession for the first time in 15 years. Spain’s economy fell for the first time since 1993. Spain’s gross domestic product fell 0.2% in the third quarter from the second quarter, while it grew 0.9% from the third quarter a year earlier.
Canada is the 9th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $13.2 trillion. It is expected that Canada will see negative growth in the next two quarters. Canada’s unemployment rate is set to hit a high of 7.4 per cent in 2009. While the growth is 0.6 percent in 2008, there will be no growth this year, according to The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
Brazil with a GDP of $13.1 trillion is the 10th largest economy in the world. Brazil’s economy has also been hit by the recession. Brazil’s industrial output fell by 6.2 per cent in November. This has been the fall since December 2001. Brazil’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in seven years.
India with a GDP of $1.17 trillion is the world’s 12th largest economy. The Indian economy grew at 7.9 per cent in the first quarter ended June 2008, the slowest growth rate in three years. The growth rate of 7.9 per cent in the first quarter ended June 2008 is much lower than 9.2 per cent recorded in corresponding quarter last year. The economic growth further fell to 7.6 percent for the second quarter of this fiscal. The manufacturing sector has been badly hit by the slowdown. The growth rate in the manufacturing sector was recorded only 5 percent during July-September, 2008. The manufacturing sector had registered a growth rate of 9.2 percent during the same period last year. According to the National Council for Applied Economics Research (NCAER), India’s industrial growth will deteriorate further by next year.