America’s share of the global economy is potent. Our country accounts for 16 percent (after being adjusted for currency differences) of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 12 percent of merchandise trade. According to The Economist, we dominate “the brainiest and most complex parts of the global economy.” Our presence is strong in social media, cloud computing, venture capital, and finance. In addition, the dollar is the world’s dominant currency.
While the view from the top is pleasing, we may not be there forever. The Economist explained:
“In the first change in the world economic order since 1920-45, when America overtook Britain, [America’s] dominance is now being eroded. As a share of world GDP, America and China (including Hong Kong) are neck and neck at 16 percent and 17 percent respectively, measured at purchasing-power parity. At market exchange rates, a fair gap remains with America at 23 percent and China at 14 percent… But any reordering of the world economy’s architecture will not be as fast or decisive as it was last time…the Middle Kingdom is a middle-income country with immature financial markets and without the rule of law. The absence of democracy, too, may be a serious drawback.”
It may be hard to believe, in light of recent economic and market events in China, but change is on its way. Regardless, the influence of the United States should continue to be powerful well into the future.