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World economy

ⓘ World economy

The world economy or global economy is the economy of all humans of the world, considered as the international exchange of goods and services that is expressed in monetary units of account. In some contexts, the two terms are distinct "international" or "global economy" being measured separately and distinguished from national economies while the "world economy" is simply an aggregate of the separate countries measurements. Beyond the minimum standard concerning value in production, use and exchange the definitions, representations, models and valuations of the world economy vary widely. It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of Earth.

It is common to limit questions of the world economy exclusively to human economic activity and the world economy is typically judged in monetary terms, even in cases in which there is no efficient market to help valuate certain goods or services, or in cases in which a lack of independent research or government cooperation makes establishing figures difficult. Typical examples are illegal drugs and other black market goods, which by any standard are a part of the world economy, but for which there is by definition no legal market of any kind.

However, even in cases in which there is a clear and efficient market to establish a monetary value, economists do not typically use the current or official exchange rate to translate the monetary units of this market into a single unit for the world economy since exchange rates typically do not closely reflect worldwide value, for example in cases where the volume or price of transactions is closely regulated by the government.

Rather, market valuations in a local currency are typically translated to a single monetary unit using the idea of purchasing power. This is the method used below, which is used for estimating worldwide economic activity in terms of real United States dollars or euros. However, the world economy can be evaluated and expressed in many more ways. It is unclear, for example, how many of the worlds 7.62 billion people have most of their economic activity reflected in these valuations.

According to Maddison, until the middle of 19th century, global output was dominated by China and India. Waves of Industrial Revolution in Western Europe and Northern America shifted the shares to the Western Hemisphere. As of 2017, the following 15 countries or regions have reached an economy of at least US$2 trillion by GDP in nominal or PPP terms: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.


1. Overview

World economy by country groups

The following two tables list the country groups with individual countries designated by the IMF. Members of the G-20 major economies are in bold.

Current world economic league table of largest economies in the world by GDP and share of global economic growth

The following two tables list the 25 largest economies by GDP nominal, twenty largest economies by GDP PPP as of 2019. Members of the G-20 major economies are in bold.

Twenty largest economies in the world by nominal GDP

The following is a list of the twenty largest economies by nominal GDP at peak value as of the specific year according to International Monetary Fund.

Twenty largest economies in the world by GDP PPP

The following is a list of twenty largest economies by GDP based on purchasing power parity at peak value as of the specific year according to the International Monetary Fund and the CIA World Factbook.


2.1. Statistical indicators Economy

  • GDP GWP gross world product: purchasing power parity exchange rates – $59.38 trillion 2005 est., $51.48 trillion 2004, $23 trillion 2002
  • Developing Countries 4.3% 2017, 4.6% predicted 2018
  • GDP GWP gross world product: market exchange rates – $60.69 trillion 2008
  • Least developed countries 4.8% 2017, 5.4% predicted 2018
  • Developed Economies 2.2% 2017, 2.0% predicted 2018
  • GDP real growth rate
  • World 2.6% 2017, 2.8% predicted 2018;
  • Developing Countries 5% to 60% typically
  • Inflation rate consumer prices; national inflation rates vary widely in individual cases, from declining prices in Japan to hyperinflation in several Third World countries 2003
  • Least developed countries 11.4% 2017, 8.3% predicted 2018
  • World median income: purchasing power parity $1.041, €950 1993
  • GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $9.300, €7.500 2005 est., $8.200, €6.800 92 2003, $7.900, €5.000 2002
  • Developed Economies 1% to 4% typically
  • GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 4%; industry: 32%; services: 64% 2004 est.
  • Derivatives OTC outstanding notional amount: $601 trillion Dec 2010, 360.985.492 December 31, 2000

2.2. Statistical indicators Military

  • Military expenditures – percent of GDP: roughly 2% of gross world product 1999.
  • World military expenditure in 2018: estimated to $1.822 trillion

3. Economic studies

To promote exports, many government agencies publish on the web economic studies by sector and country. Among these agencies include the USCS US DoC and FAS USDA in the United States, EDC and AAFC in Canada, Ubifrance in France, UKTI in the UK, HKTDC and JETRO in Asia, Austrade and NZTE in Oceania. Through Partnership Agreements, the Federation of International Trade Associations publishes studies from several of these agencies as well as other non-governmental organizations on its website GlobalTrade.net.

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