Author: Tina Aridas, Valentina Pasquali
Project Coordinator: Denise Bedell

The gross domestic product (GDP) of a country can be defined as the value of the total final output of all goods and services produced in a single year within a country's boundaries. The growth is expressed as a percent.

According to the International Monetary Fund’s latest assessment, “Global growth is projected to increase during 2013, as the factors underlying soft global activity are expected to subside.” However, the fund now forecasts an upturn slower than what it had first predicted in October of 2012.

Data is from the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2012 with an update in January 2013.

GDP Growth for the Major Economies of the World * From the January 2013 Update

Click on the column heading to sort the table.

The IMF recognizes that in recent months governments in the euro area and the United States have taken important policy steps to lower the risk of acute crises reoccurring. Nevertheless, recovery in Europe is turning out to be much slower than it was hoped for. At the same time, Japan is facing a recession, although the recently installed government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is promising new stimulus and a more expansive monetary policy to return the country to growth as soon as possible (which is predicted to be in the range of 1% in 2013.) According to the Fund, while the global economy could experience a higher than predicted upswing if all the pieces fell into place, “downside risks remain significant, including renewed setbacks in the euro area and risks of excessive near-term fiscal consolidation in the United States.”

Olivier Blanchard, Economic Counselor of the International Monetary Fund, discusses global prospects for growth in 2013

IMF Projects Modest Pick-up in Economic Growth in 2013

In fact, according to The Economist , in the third quarter of 2012 global growth slowed down again, to a 2.4% level which is the lowest point since the end of 2009. Developed economies in particular did not contribute much to economic expansion, still struggling with the legacy of the financial crisis in the U.S. and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

In general, forecasts maintain a similar outlook of modest growth, if any at all, for 2013. The IMF predicts that the American economy will grow 2% this year, although ongoing uncertainty about the U.S. budget casts a shadow on such estimate.

The countries of the euro area face some more headwinds, with the economy of the currency union contracting another 0.2% in 2013 before potentially returning to growth the following year. The economies of Italy and Spain are both expected to shrink, by 1% and 1.5% respectively.

China and India continue growing at faster than average paces, albeit no longer at the speed at which their economies were expanding in the first decade of the new millennium. For many years, for example, China’s economy was getting bigger at an average rate of around or above 10%, while it is calculated to grow only 8.2% in 2013 (India at an even more modest 5.9%.)

Brazil and Russia are also growing more rapidly than most advanced economies and, in 2013, are expected to come in at 3.5% and 3.7% respectively. This is, however, still below their pre-recession levels.

Overall, the IMF predicts global growth to come in at 3.5% in 2013.