The latest IMF World Economic Outlook is out and we have incorporated the relevant numbers in the Canback Global Income Distribution Database.
We updated our annual nowcast as the data for 2019 are quite reliable already in April. We do the nowcast because understanding where one is today is in some ways more difficult than forecasting the future.
Global GDP per capita growth will likely be 3.3% in 2019, only a bit above the 40-year average of 3.2%. It is a slowdown compared to 3.5% in 2018 and 3.7% in 2017.
Bangladesh is the fastest growing large country in 2019. Iran, with renewed U.S. sanctions, is in deep recession, as is Turkey. The 11 fastest growing countries are emerging economies (also true if we look at it on a per capita basis).
Additional observations from the entire dataset:
- Asia grows the fastest (4.6%) followed by Africa (3.5%). Asia is fueled by per capita growth while Africa is fueled by population growth
- Affluent countries grow at 1.9% while emerging countries grow at 4.6%. Global inequality continues to decrease has it has for decades (since most inequality is between countries)
- Large countries grow slower than medium and small countries, which is a reversal from recent years
Finally, why do we always look at growth in relative (percentage) terms. Why not also look at absolute GDP growth per capita? Below is this view. Few would know that Poland is at the top of this ranking among large countries.
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Note: The large countries make up 80% of the world