The U.S. is the world’s largest national economy. In 2013, the U.S. reported gross domestic product (GDP) of $16.8 trillion, or 22.4% of global GDP. China was a distant second at $9.2 trillion. Japan’s economy was the third largest in 2013 at $4.9 trillion, with Germany ($3.6 trillion) and France ($2.7 trillion) rounding out the top five.
The U.S. is also the second largest economy by region. In 2013, U.S GDP of $16.80 trillion was just slightly behind the entire European Union at $17.35 trillion.
As the world’s biggest national economy the U.S. is also its economic engine. That’s because the U.S. is the largest consumer market in the world. In 2013, consumer spending accounted for 71% of the U.S. economy.
As goes the U.S., so goes the global economy. Since the stock market crashed in 2008, U.S. economic growth has been weak. In 2008, the U.S. reported negative GDP of -0.03%; in 2009, it slipped further to -2.8%. Since then, the U.S. economy has experienced uneven growth. Most recently, in 2013, the U.S. reported GDP growth of 1.9%.
Going forward, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its outlook for global economic growth, saying there are limits to the United States’ ability to shoulder the world’s economy on its own. Before the financial crisis, the U.S. routinely advanced at around 3.0% annually. For 2014, the IMF expects GDP to grow 2.2% and in 2015 it expects the U.S. economy to advance 3.1%.