Economic Progress

Which are the world’s fastest-growing economies?

A general view of the city is seen, with an illuminated Sule Pagoda standing out from amongst the other buildings, in central Yangon September 6, 2013. Toe Aung, a former army major, bears one of the biggest responsibilities in reform-era Myanmar: planning Yangon's unstoppable transformation from a regional backwater into Southeast Asia's next megacity. Picture taken September 6, 2013

A new map from the IMF charts GDP around the world Image: REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Economic Progress?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Economic Progress is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Economic Progress

Myanmar is the world’s fastest-growing economy, according to the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook. The country’s GDP is projected to grow by 8.6% this year.

Political and economic reforms, which have made headlines around the world, have supported this economic growth. Increased consumer and investor confidence, and rising exports, have boosted the economy, argues the World Bank. However, inequality and poverty remain a significant problem across the country.

This is true for many of the world’s fast-expanding economies, which are typically not the biggest or most developed.

 Real GDP growth 2016
Image: IMF

This map from the IMF explores the situation around the world. It highlights the rapid growth being experienced across much of Asia and Africa. The Ivory Coast follows Myanmar in second place, with projected GDP growth of 8.5% this year. Third on the list is Bhutan, with 8.4%.

Other countries predicted to return high growth figures include India, Laos and Tanzania. An interactive version of the map, showing growth from 1980 to 2021 can be found online.

 These are the world's fastest-growing economies

What about advanced economies and emerging markets?

Growth of around 2% is projected across advanced economies this year and next. Japan is an exception to this, with April’s projection predicting growth of less than 1% this year and negative growth next year. Across the board, predictions have been lowered since January 2016.

Emerging markets are still expected to see strong growth, driven by India with over 7% and China with more than 6%. This despite China’s much publicized slowdown and economic transition. Indeed, the latest projections for China are an increase on January’s IMF figures.

The outlook this year is for negative growth in Russia and Brazil, but this situation is expected to improve in 2017.

 Global growth forecast
Image: Reuters

Beyond GDP

At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting this year, three leading economists argued that we should be looking beyond GDP as a measure of progress. Christine Lagarde, Joseph Stiglitz and Professor Erik Brynjolfsson all suggested that a changing world requires a change in how we assess progress.

 GDP is not a good measure of economic performance, it's not a good measure of well-being

Although GDP forecasts offer a useful insight into economic performance around the world, there are increasing calls for other factors to be included, such as well-being and quality of life. A. Michael Spence and Sir Charles Bean have also argued for new measures.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

German economy likely in recession, and other economy stories to read this week

Joe Myers

February 23, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum