World Economy 2010

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World Economy 2010

Page last updated on January 27, 2010

Economy - overview:
2009 marked the first year in the post WWII era that global output - and per capita income - declined; output contracted 1% year-over-year, compared with average increases of about 3.5% per year since 1946. And global trade plummeted nearly 25% from 2008's level, the largest single year drop since WWII. Among major countries, the biggest GDP losses occurred in Russia (-8.5%), Mexico (-7.1%), Japan (-5.7%), Italy (-5.0%), and Germany (-5.0%), while China (+8.4%), India (+6.1%), and Indonesia (+4.4%) recorded the biggest gains. Among all countries, output increased the most in Macau (+13.2%) - top for the second consecutive year - Qatar (+9.2%), and Mongolia (+9.0%). In 2009, global per capita income fell about 2% to US$10,500, as global unemployment rose from just over 7% in 2008 to nearly 9% in 2009 - underemployment, especially in the developing world, remained much higher. Global gross fixed investment fell about 4% year-over-year, or by roughly $800 billion. World trade and financial imbalances unwound: from 2008 to 2009 current account surpluses or deficits fell for 4 out of every 5 countries as lower commodity prices, tighter credit, and, to some degree, greater protectionism reduced demand for traded goods. World external debt dropped more than 6% from the previous year, as new international lending disappeared. The global recession was a result of widespread uncertainties in the financial markets, bank failures, tighter credit, falling home prices, collapsing asset prices, lowered consumer confidence, and the drop in trade. In response to these conditions, many, if not most, countries pursued expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, and attempted to avoid protectionist policies. By the second half of 2009, the global economy appeared to be making halting, but forward steps.

The world economy now faces a major new challenge, together with several long-standing ones. The fiscal stimulus packages put in place in 2009 required most countries to run budget deficits - government balances deteriorated for 14 out of every 15 countries. Treasuries issued new public debt - globally, worth about $4 trillion - to pay for the additional expenditures, and many central banks monetized that debt, injecting large sums of money into the economies. In early 2010, excess capacity existed in product markets, and inflation was not an immediate threat. However, when economic activity picks up, central banks will face the difficult task of containing inflation without raising interest rates so high they snuff out further growth.
Long-standing challenges the world faces are several. The addition of 80 million people each year to an already overcrowded globe is exacerbating the problems of pollution, desertification, underemployment, epidemics, and famine. The nation-state, as a bedrock economic-political institution, is steadily losing control over international flows of people, goods, funds, and technology. Internally, the central government often finds its control over resources slipping as separatist regional movements - typically based on ethnicity - gain momentum, e.g., in many of the successor states of the former Soviet Union, in the former Yugoslavia, in India, in Iraq, in Indonesia, and in Canada. Externally, the central government is losing decisionmaking powers to international bodies, most notably the EU. The introduction of the euro as the common currency of much of Western Europe in January 1999, while paving the way for an integrated economic powerhouse, poses economic risks because of varying levels of income and cultural and political differences among the participating nations. In Western Europe, governments face the difficult political problem of channeling resources away from welfare programs in order to increase investment and strengthen incentives to seek employment. Because of their own internal problems and priorities, the industrialized countries devote insufficient resources to deal effectively with the poorer areas of the world, which, at least from an economic point of view, are becoming further marginalized. The terrorist attacks on the US on 11 September 2001 accentuated a growing risk to global prosperity, illustrated, for example, by the reallocation of resources away from investment to anti-terrorist programs. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan added new uncertainties to global economic prospects.
Despite these challenges, the world economy also shows great promise. Technology has made possible further advances in all fields, from agriculture, to medicine, alternative energy, metallurgy, and transportation. Improved global communications have greatly reduced the costs of international trade, helping the world gain from the international division of labor, raise living standards, and reduce income disparities among nations. Much of the resilience of the world economy in 2009 resulted from government leaders around the world working in concert to stem the financial onslaught, knowing well the lessons of past economic failures.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$70.21 trillion (2009 est.)

$70.92 trillion (2008 est.)
$68.78 trillion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
GWP (gross world product): $57.53 trillion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-1% (2009 est.)

2.9% (2008 est.)
5% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$10,500 (2009 est.)

$10,700 (2008 est.)
$10,500 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 30.6%
services: 63.4% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
3.184 billion (2009 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 37.5%
industry: 22.1%
services: 40.4% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:
8.7% (2009 est.)

7.2% (2008 est.)
note: 30% (2007 est.) combined unemployment and underemployment in many non-industrialized countries; developed countries typically 4%-12% unemployment

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2003 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
22.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

23.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Public debt:
53.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

47.7% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
developed countries 0% to 4% typically; developing countries 5% to 20% typically; national inflation rates vary widely in individual cases; inflation rates have declined for most countries for the last several years, held in check by increasing international competition from several low wage countries and lower oil prices

Stock of money:
$12.35 trillion (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$27.31 trillion (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$69.9 trillion (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2008)

$64.99 trillion (31 December 2007)
$53.55 trillion (31 December 2006 est.)

dominated by the onrush of technology, especially in computers, robotics, telecommunications, and medicines and medical equipment; most of these advances take place in OECD nations; only a small portion of non-OECD countries have succeeded in rapidly adjusting to these technological forces; the accelerated development of new industrial (and agricultural) technology is complicating already grim environmental problems

Industrial production growth rate:
-2.4% (2009 est.)

Electricity - production:
18.83 trillion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - consumption:
17.13 trillion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - exports:
621.4 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
623.2 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
85.43 million bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
85.98 million bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
66.13 million bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - imports:
66.68 million bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
1.343 trillion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)

Natural gas - production:
3.137 trillion cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
3.159 trillion cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - exports:
980.4 billion cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - imports:
995.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
177.4 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)

$12.11 trillion (2009 est.)

$15.95 trillion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
the whole range of industrial and agricultural goods and services
top ten - share of world trade: electrical machinery, including computers 14.8%; mineral fuels, including oil, coal, gas, and refined products 14.4%; nuclear reactors, boilers, and parts 14.2%; cars, trucks, and buses 8.9%; scientific and precision instruments 3.5%; plastics 3.4%; iron and steel 2.7%; organic chemicals 2.6%; pharmaceutical products 2.6%; diamonds, pearls, and precious stones 1.9%

Exports - partners:
US 12.7%, Germany 7.2%, China 6.4%, France 4.5%, Japan 4.3%, UK 4.2% (2008)

$12.01 trillion (2009 est.)

$15.94 trillion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
the whole range of industrial and agricultural goods and services
top ten - share of world trade: see listing for exports

Imports - partners:
China 10.3%, Germany 8.7%, US 8%, Japan 5% (2008)

Debt - external:
$56.9 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)

$60.83 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
note: this figure is the sum total of all countries' external debt, both public and private

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$16.4 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)

$17.22 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$16.91 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)

$16.27 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding World on this page is re-published from the 2010 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of World Economy 2010 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about World Economy 2010 should be addressed to the CIA.

This page was last modified 09-Feb-10
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