The top 10 economies of the world and the recession

January 23, 2009

United States

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

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

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

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.

United Kingdom

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

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

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.

Spain

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

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

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

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.


Best nations to do business

October 7, 2008

1. Singapore – Singapore kept its top ranking for the third year in a row as the easiest place in the world to do business. The Asian city-state edged out New Zealand and the United States in the ‘Doing Business 2009’ ranking. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore’s economy depends heavily on exports refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing. Thousands of foreign expatriates work here in multi-national corporations. The city-state employs thousands of blue-collared workers across the globe.

2. New Zealand- New Zealand has a developed economy with an estimated nominal GDP of $128.1 billion as on 2008. The country has a very high standard of living. New Zealand’s service sector is the largest sector in the economy, followed by manufacturing and construction and the farming/raw materials extraction. New Zealand is heavily dependent on free trade, particularly in agricultural products.

3. USA- The American economy is under terrible stress at the moment.  A series of events in United States, including the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bank of America agreeing to buy Merrill Lynch for $44 billion, has shaken up the global financial markets. There could be several more developments over the next few months that might make things more difficult. Thousands will lose their jobs in the global financial sector as many companies have witnessed the fastest drop in business levels, profitability and confidence in almost two decades.  Initial estimates say that the unprecedented crisis in the global financial services industry will lead to more than 250,000 jobs being lost globally. And economists say that this figure is ‘very conservative.’ The eventual number of jobs that will actually be lost could be much higher, they say. The fiscal hurricane that originated in the United States has soon spread panic and gloom across the world markets. European companies have already announced layoffs, while some Asian companies too have done the same. However, some relief came with the US Congress approving a revised $700 billion package to bail out the beleaguered financial sector of the country.

4. Hong Kong- Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial centers.  It is one of the four Asian tigers known for its high growth rate and rapid industrialization. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalization of $2.97 trillion as on October 2007. It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with the greatest concentration of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region.

5. Denmark- Denmark has a GDP per capita higher than that of most European countries, and 15-20% higher than that of the United States. Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD, and The Economist. Denmark’s market economy features efficient markets, above average European living standards, and high amount of free trade. Denmark is home to many multinational companies. Among them: A P Moller-Maersk Group, Lego, Bang & Olufsen, Carlsberg, Vestas, Novozymes and the pharmaceutical companies Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk deserve special mention

6. Britain- The British economy is made up (in descending order of size) of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In the 1980s, during Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s tenure, most state-owned enterprises were privatized. The British government now owns very few industries or businesses — Royal Mail is one of the very few examples. In the post World War II period, the British economy recorded chronic weak growth. However, in recent years Britain has seen the longest period of economic growth. It has grown in every quarter since 1992.  It is one of the strongest EU economies in terms of inflation, interest rates and unemployment, all of which remain relatively low. The country’s GDP as of 2007, stands at $2.772 trillion.

7. Ireland- The economy of the Republic of Ireland is modern and trade-dependent with growth averaging a 7% per annum in 1995-2007. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry, which accounts for 46% of GDP, about 80% of exports, and employs 29% of the labour force. Ireland has the second highest per capita income of any country in the EU next to Luxembourg, and fourth highest in the world based on measurements of gross domestic product per capita

8. Canada- Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and Group of Eight. As with other developed nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. The country’s GDP as of 2007 stands at $1.274 trillion. Canada has a sizable manufacturing sector, centered in Central Canada, the automobile industry being especially important.

9. Austria- The economy of the Republic of Austria may be characterized as a social market economy similar in structure with that of Germany. In 2004 Austria was the fourth richest country within the European Union, having a GDP per capita of approximately Euro27’666, with Luxembourg, Ireland, and Netherlands leading the list. In the post World War II era, Austria has achieved sustained economic growth. In the crisis-ridden 1950s, the rebuilding efforts for Austria lead to an average annual growth rate of more than 5 per cent in real terms and averaged about four point five per cent through most of the 1960s.

10. Norway- The economy of Norway has shown robust growth since the start of the industrial era. Shipping has long been a support of Norway’s export sector, but much of Norway’s economic growth has been fueled by an abundance of natural resources, including petroleum exploration and production, hydroelectric power, and fisheries. Norway is among the most expensive countries in the world, as reflected in the Big Mac Index. Historically, transportation costs and barriers to free trade had caused the disparity, but in recent years, Norwegian policy with respect to labor relations, taxation, etc, have contributed significantly.


The world’s largest economies

July 29, 2008
India

The Indian economy is the 12th largest in the world. That is, India’s gross domestic product stands at $1.171 trillion. However, in terms of purchasing power parity, India is the world’s fourth largest economy. Its GDP in purchasing power parity terms is at $3.092 trillion. These are the year 2007 figures, recently released by the World Bank. By definition, purchasing power parity (PPP) is an economic theory that estimates the amount of adjustment needed on the exchange rate between countries in order for the exchange to be equivalent to each currency’s purchasing power. India is the one of the world’s fastest growing economies, yet its annual per capita income remains quite low at $950, or about Rs 40,000. That puts India in the 160th spot. Incidentally, World Bank figures show that the world’s GDP is at $54.347 trillion. India accounts for just over 2 per cent of global GDP.

So which are the world’s largest economies?

1. United States

The American GDP is at $13.812 trillion, making it the world’s largest economy. It accounts for more than 25 per cent of the entire world’s GDP! In terms of purchasing power parity too, the United States is the world’s leading economy. However, its per capita income at $46, per year, pegs it at the 15th spot in the world.

2. Japan

Japan, with a GDP of $4.377 trillion, is the world’s second largest economy. However, in terms of purchasing power parity, Japan is ranked third by the World Bank. It’s GDP in PPP terms is $4.283 trillion. Japan’s per capita income (annual) is $37,670, making it the 25th highest in the world.

3. Germany

Germany is the world’s third largest, with its GDP at $3.297 trillion. But in PPP terms, Germany is the world’s fifth largest economy. It’s GDP in PPP terms is at $2.752 trillion. Its per capita income is the 23rd highest in the world, at $38,860.

4. China

China, the Asian giant, is the world’s fourth largest economy with a GDP of $3.281 trillion; but in purchasing power parity terms it ranks second at $7.055 trillion. It is the world’s fastest growing major economy and its giant strides have taken the world by a storm. Economists predict that over the next few decades, it could topple the US as the world’s largest economy. China’s per capita income, however, is still low at $2,630 per year.

5. United Kingdom

Britain is the world’s fifth largest economy. Its GDP is at $2.728 trillion. In purchasing power parity terms, the United Kingdom’s GDP stands at $2.082 trillion making it the seventh largest in the world. Britain is a rich nation. Its per capita income is at an impressive $42,740. That would rank it in the 19th spot.

6. France

The French GDP is at $2.563 trillion, making it the world’s sixth largest economy; but in terms of PPP, it is the world’s 8th largest (GDP in PPP terms, $2.054 trillion). The per capita income of the French at $38,500 makes them the 24th richest people in the world.

7. Italy

Italy’s GDP in absolute terms is at $2.107 trillion. That makes it the planet’s seventh largets economy. However, in purchasing power parity terms its GDP is at $1.780 trillion and its rank is 10th. Italians’ per capita income is the 30th highest in the world. It is $33,540.

8. Spain

Spain is the eighth largest economy with its GDP at $1.429 trillion. In purchasing power parity, however, it slips to the 11th spot ($1.373 trillion). With a per capita income of $29,450 per year, its people are the 36th richest in the world.

9. Canada

The Canadian GDP stands at $1.326 trillion, making it the world’s ninth largest economy. In PPP terms, however, it stands 14th in the world. Its GDP in PPP terms is at $1.178 trillion. Its people enjoy a comfortable life with a per capita income of $39,420, which is 22nd highest in the world.

10. Brazil

The Brazilian economy too has been growing at a scorching pace. It is the world’s 10th largest economy with a GDP of $1.314 trillion. But in terms of purchasing power (GDP – $1.834 trillion), it is better placed at number 9. Amongst the emerging economies, it has one of the best per capita income figures — $5,910. This places it in the 85th spot .