Dec 15, 2017 - Future

How 74 economies have performed this century

China has had an unsurprising economic century, churning out billionaires, slashing poverty and seeking to dominate ever-more industries of the future. But how about Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Ethiopia, all of which have had their own unsung, dynamic spurts since 2000?

At a time of serious challenge to globalization and open trade, the leading economic policies of the last quarter century, we took a look at how all the global economies are performing. In the chart below, we highlight some notable cases, with an eye toward the future of the global economy.

How to read it: Each line represents the change in a country's GDP since 2000. The thickness of the line depicts the size of the economy. We used a log scale in the vertical axis to help compare countries that merely doubled their GDP versus those that grew by nearly 13 times (looking at you, Angola).

Data: World Bank; Note: Includes 74 countries, excluding those with a 2016 GDP below $50b and those with missing data.
  • Japan: Powered by booming automotive and electronics industries, Japan has been nonetheless hampered by stagnation, and now population decline. The Japanese population has dropped every year since 2010, and is on track to shrink by a third within the next 50 years.
  • Sudan: An upward economic trend belies a turbulent century, notably the breakup of the country and civil war in Darfur. In 2011, South Sudan made off with enough oil to wipe out more than half of the Khartoum government's revenue and almost all its exports. With much of Sudan's oil capacity now beyond its borders, it must adapt to a future focused on agriculture and livestock.
  • Russia: The 'Recent Slumps' group includes 3 of the 5 BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia and South Africa), the group that, in the 2000s, was thought to represent the dynamic forefront of the global economy. Russia especially fell out of the group in all but name. A combination of tax reform and high oil and natural gas prices helped its economy soar through most of the 2000s. But the 2008 financial crisis hit Russia hard, and it has yet to truly recover. President Vladimir Putin has held the economy in place by allowing the ruble to float, but Russia continues to be dogged by low oil prices and economic sanctions following the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
  • Argentina opened the millennium in the middle of a depression that saw its economy shrink faster than any other country on the chart. It contracted more than a quarter between 1998 and 2002. Argentina pulled itself out of the funk in the mid-2000s, thanks to investments in health, social programs and education. But in recent years, it has been plagued with corruption scandals, a lag in productivity, and stagflation.

What's next

Russia and Ukraine strike a deal for gas transportation

Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Ukraine has agreed to allow Russia to continue sending gas through the country to the rest of Europe over the next five years, AP reports.

Why it matters: Europe relies on a large amount of gas from Russia for heating and industry, AP writes. Russia sends roughly 40% of its European gas deliveries through pipelines that cross through Ukraine.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019 - World

20 Years of Putin: Tracing his rise from KGB to Kremlin

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde. Photos via Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Twenty years ago today, on New Year's Eve 1999, a political newcomer and former KGB operative named Vladimir Putin suddenly assumed the Russian presidency.

Part 1 of our "20 Years of Putin" special report focuses on his rise, his early years and his escalating antagonism with the West. It's based on conversations with Mikhail Khodorkovsky — the oligarch whose imprisonment in 2003 revealed Putin's ruthlessness to the world — three former U.S. ambassadors to Moscow, leading experts and former chiefs of the Pentagon and CIA. Read part 2.

Dive inArrowNov 25, 2019 - World

World Bank cuts growth forecast for fourth time in a row

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The World Bank cut its global growth forecast for the fourth straight time on Wednesday, reducing expectations by 0.2 percentage points each year for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

"Global economic growth is forecast to edge up to 2.5% in 2020 as investment and trade gradually recover from last year’s significant weakness but downward risks persist. ... U.S. growth is forecast to slow to 1.8% this year, reflecting the negative impact of earlier tariff increases and elevated uncertainty."
— World Bank statement on its Global Economic Prospects report