Global GDP is estimated to has grown by 3.09 percent in 2015 according to IMF World Economic Outlook. In 2016 world economy is continuing to slowly recover and projected to grow at modest 3.16 percent, before picking up to 3.54 percent in 2017. The recovery is driven mainly by developing economies which demonstrated the growth of 3.98 percent in 2015 and are expected to grow by 4.1 percent in 2016. At the same time, growth in advanced economies is estimated to has remained modest at 1.88 percent in 2015 and is projected to decrease to 1.86 percent in 2016.
The United States, the largest economy in the world accounting for 24.5 percent of the global GDP, continued growing at the moderate pace in 2016 after the decrease of output growth in the second quarter of 2015. Thus, U.S. real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.88 percent in the first quarter of 2016 and 1.23 percent in the second quarter according to the estimate by the International Monetary Fund. As a result, GDP growth is estimated to level off at 2.4 percent in 2016 with a modest uptick of 2.5 percent in 2017.
The world's second largest economy, China that accounts for 15 percent of the global GDP, is gradually slowing down as it continues the transition to a more balanced growth. Thus, Chinese GDP expanded by 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016, broadly in line with the previous quarter. So, in 2016, GDP of China is expected to rise by 6.49 percent.
Japan, the world's third largest economy, saw a 0.02 percent expansion of GDP in the first quarter of 2016 after an increase of 0.84 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Overall 2016 growth is forecasted at 0.5 percent, but the momentum is weak: growth is projected to turn negative to -0.06 percent in 2017.
GDP is the single most commonly referenced figure to cover the entirety of a national economy and the trajectory it is on in a single statistic. Measured annually, quarterly, or monthly, trends in GDP for a single country or comparisons among peer countries are often called out in the popular press, sometimes with alarmist tones that can make one wonder why or how this single data point has taken on such importance. This is particularly the case in a world increasingly focused on measuring well-being, governance, and environmental and natural resource depletion, all of which are explicitly or implicitly excluded from standard GDP measures. In an era of open data, GDP as a singular golden indicator could fade ever so slowly to make room for other unique measures that will only become increasingly easier to develop and maintain as improvements are made in global data access.
Gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices is defined by the OECD as "the expenditure on final goods and services minus imports: final consumption expenditures, gross capital formation, and exports less imports.". It can be measured both in U.S. dollars and Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs). While the first approach suggests that the Unites States is the world's largest economy, according to the second approach, China is the largest one.
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