Global economy - Statistics & Facts

Global economy can be defined as the sum of activities that take place both within a country and between different countries. Each country is a separate unit, with its own industrial production, labor market, financial market, resources and environment. The globalization enabled and enhanced the development of international trade, finance or migration of labor force, which are the examplary areas, where countries need to find common solutions and cooperate with one another. One of the effects of the globalization is that drastic changes in one country influence other countries. Brexit does not only change the situation in Great Britain, but in the whole European Union as well.


There are numerous indicators which allow to measure and analyze the economic activity – they are called economic indicators. One of the most important economic measures is gross domestic product (GDP), which is the total value of all goods and services manufactured within one year. Global GDP increased from around 25 trillion U.S. dollars in the 1990s to 84.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020. The United States was the country with the largest gross domestic product in 2020, followed by China, Japan, and Germany. According to a forecast for 2030, this ranking will look quite different in the future as emerging countries, such as China, India, Russia, or Brazil, are growing faster than the mature economies.

If we compare the gross domestic product with the number of inhabitants and take a look at GDP per capita, such countries as Macao, Luxembourg, and Singapore emerge as world leaders. On the other hand, Burundi, South Sudan, and Malawi led the ranking of the countries with the lowest GDP per capita in 2020. In 2020, global GDP per capita amounted to 10.92 thousand U.S. dollars.

In general, global economic growth could be observed in previous years. The year 2020 was an exception, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took its toll on almost every country in the world.

Other economic indicators

According to the preliminary estimates for 2020, about 220.28 million people were unemployed worldwide, which translates to a global unemployment rate of approximately 6.57 percent. The world regions with the highest unemployment rate are the Arab World, Latin America & Caribbean, and North America.
The global inflation rate was 3.18 percent in 2020 and it was forecast to increase to 4.35 percent in 2021. The price levels increased most significantly in Venezuela and Zimbabwe, while the lowest inflation rates were reported in Qatar and Fiji.
The leading export country in 2020 was China, with exports worth about 2.59 trillion U.S. dollars, followed by the United States and Germany. The ranking of the leading import countries, however, sees the United States at the top, followed by China and Germany.


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