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June 15, 2006

The world’s largest economies

Economic Perspective host Sonya Williams asks N.C. State University’s Mike Walden to comment on the largest national economies in the world today.

“I remember when I was in school the world’s largest economies were the U.S. followed by countries like Japan, Germany and Great Britain,” says Harris. “I imagine the rankings have changed today.”

Dr. Walden, an economist with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, responds: “They have, Sonya. And what we are doing here is looking at the rankings of economies in countries in terms of the value of their production -- what they produce in terms of goods and services -- in a year.

“The U.S. is still by far the world’s largest economy. Last year we produced $12.5 trillion of products and services.

“However, there have been some changes since when you were in school and certainly since I have been in school: China is now the second largest economy in the world. Their gross domestic product, which is the technical term here, is $9.6 trillion; followed then by the countries who use the euro – roughly Western Europe -- $9.2 trillion, then Japan -- Japan has really slipped -- $4 trillion.

“India – India is a new country on the rankings -- $3.7 trillion of annual output. Then … the United Kingdom, Russia and Brazil are all around $1.6 [trillion] to $2 trillion of annual output.

“So you are right,” Walden concludes. “The rankings have changed. What has changed dramatically is two countries, China and India, have certainly moved up.”

Posted by deeshore at June 15, 2006 08:00 AM