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    World Economy 1997

      Economy - overview Real global output - gross world product (GWP) - rose an estimated 3.6%in 1996, with the newly industrializing Third World countries again settingthe pace. And once more, results varied widely among regions and countries.Average growth of 2.3% in the GDP of industrialized countries (55% of GWPin 1996) and average growth of 6.5% in the GDP of less developed countries(39% of GWP) were partly offset by a 2% drop in the GDP of the former USSR/EasternEurope area (only 6% of GWP). With the notable exception of Japan at 3%, unemploymentwas typically 6%-12% in the industrial world. The US accounted for 21% ofGWP in 1996; Western Europe accounted for 20%; and Japan accounted for 8%.These are the three "economic superpowers" presumably destined to competefor mastery in international markets on into the 21st century. As for theless developed countries: China, India, and the Four Dragons - South Korea,Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore - once again posted records of 5% growthor better; however, many other countries, especially in Africa, continuedto suffer from drought, rapid population growth, inflation, and civil strife.Central Europe and the 15 successor states to the USSR generally made progressin moving toward "market-friendly" economies, but output in Russia and Ukrainecontinued to fall. Externally, the nation-state, as a bedrock economic-politicalinstitution, is steadily losing control over international flows of people,goods, funds, and technology. Internally, the central government in a numberof cases is losing control over resources as separatist regional movements- typically based on ethnicity - gain momentum, e.g., in the successor statesof the former Soviet Union, in the former Yugoslavia, in India, and in Canada.In Western Europe, governments face the difficult political problem of channelingresources away from welfare programs in order to increase investment and strengthenincentives to seek employment. The addition of nearly 100 million people eachyear to an already overcrowded globe is exacerbating the problems of pollution,desertification, underemployment, epidemics, and famine. Because of theirown internal problems, the industrialized countries have inadequate resourcesto deal effectively with the poorer areas of the world, which, at least fromthe economic point of view, are becoming further marginalized. (For specificeconomic developments in each country, see the individual country entries.)

      GDP GWP (gross world product) - purchasing power parity - $35.8 trillion(1996 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 3.6% (1996 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,200 (1996 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture : NA%
      industry: NA%
      services: NA%

      Inflation rate - consumer price index all countries 25%; developed countries 2% to 4% typically; developingcountries 10% to 60% typically (1996 est.)
      note: national inflation rates vary widely in individual cases, from stableprices in Japan to hyperinflation in a number of Third World countries

      Labor force
      total : 2.24 billion (1992)
      by occupation: NA

      Unemployment rate 30% combined unemployment and underemployment in many non-industrializedcountries; developed countries typically 6%-12% unemployment (1996 est.)

      Industries dominated by the onrush of technology, especially in computers, robotics,telecommunications, and medicines and medical equipment; most of these advancestake place in OECD nations; only a small portion of non-OECD countries havesucceeded in rapidly adjusting to these technological forces; the accelerateddevelopment of new industrial (and agricultural) technology is complicatingalready grim environmental problems

      Industrial production growth rate 5% (1996 est.)

      Electricity - capacity 4 billion kW (1994)

      Electricity - production 12.34268 trillion kWh (1994)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 1,996 kWh (1995 est.)

      Agriculture - products the whole gamut of crops, livestock, forest products, and fish

      total value: $4.6 trillion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
      commodities : the whole range of industrial and agricultural goods and services
      partners: in value, about 75% of exports from the developed countries

      total value : $4.7 trillion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
      commodities: the whole range of industrial and agricultural goods and services
      partners: in value, about 75% of imports by the developed countries

      Debt - external $2 trillion for less developed countries (1996 est.)

      Economic aid worldwide traditional foreign aid $50 billion (1995 est.)

      NOTE: The information regarding World on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of World Economy 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about World Economy 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
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