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Global GDP is estimated to has grown by 3.21 percent in 2016 according to the latest release of IMF World Economic Outlook in October. In 2017 world economy started to slowly recover and is projected to grow at modest 3.62 percent - revised 0.16 percentage points up from the previous release - before picking up to 3.71 percent in 2018. The recovery is driven mainly by developing economies which demonstrated the growth of 4.33 percent in 2016 and are expected to grow by 4.64 percent in 2017. At the same time, growth in advanced economies is estimated to has remained modest at 1.66 percent in 2016 and is projected to increase to 2.17 percent in 2017.

The United States, the largest economy in the world accounting for 24.7 percent of the global GDP, saw a strong recovery in the second quarter of 2017 measured on a quarter-on-quarter basis after a decrease of output growth in the fourth and the first quarters. Thus, U.S. real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the previous quarter according to the estimate by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Based on year-over-year growth rate though, US GDP grew at 2.08% continuing an upward trend started in the third quarter of 2016. As a result, GDP growth is estimated to reach 2.18 percent in 2017 with a modest uptick to 2.34 percent in 2018. IMF revised down projections for 2017 and 2018 by 0.13 and 0.18 percentage points.

The world's second-largest economy, China that accounts for 14.9 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 2016, 0.2 percentage points down from the previous year. In 2017, China real GDP growth is expected to increase to 6.77 percent following an upward revision by IMF.

Japan, the world's third-largest economy, saw a 1.26 percent expansion of GDP in the first quarter of 2017 after an increase of 1.62 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. Overall, 2017 growth is forecasted at 1.51 percent, but the momentum is weak: growth is projected to decrease to 0.65 percent in 2018.

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 minus imports." It can be measured both in U.S. dollars and Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs). While the first approach suggests that the United States is the world's largest economy, according to the second approach, China is the largest one.

Take a look at other GDP-related dashboards:

GDP: GDP by country from the World Bank |  GDP by country from IMF | World GDP

GDP per capita: GDP per capita by country from the World BankGDP per capita by country from IMFWorld GDP per capita ranking

See also: G20 economic forecast | Short-term economic profile

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