Here are the world's largest economies as of 2012 using GDP (PPP) Gross Domestic Product at Purchasing Power Parity. This method however uses the U.S. dollar to measure each country's equivalent goods and services. The European Union's economy if included as a trading bloc would be the world's top economy at $15.65 trillion.
1. United States
Leading the pack is the United States with a GDP (PPP) of $15.29 trillion and a per capita GDP of $48,100. Its economy's growth rate slowed to a rate of 1.5% in 2011 down from 3% in 2010 as a result of the on going economic slowdown. Analysts estimate that it will continue to post these growth rates in the following years.
With a GDP (PPP) of $11.4 trillion, China is the biggest winner during the global recession as a result of tightly controlled currency system which greatly benefits its manufacturing base. China's growth rate in 2011 is a very impressive 9.2%. Not so bad considering its growth rate in 2010 is 10.5%. China's aging population is a great concern noting that Japan's stagnant economy is due to the fact that its population is aging, whether or not the same fate would happen to China will be revealed in the years to come.
The world's second most populous nation is now head to head with Japan's economic might. With a GDP (PPP) of $4.5 trillion, it is still open for debate whether it has truly overtook Japan's stagnating and slowing economy. However, with a growth rate of 7.8% it is set to pull ahead and settle as the world's 3rd largest economy.
Japan's high tech themed economy is unfortunately not growing at all, at -0.5% it is actually shrinking. With a GDP (PPP) of $4.49 trillion it is close to say if Japan actually fell to 4th largest economy, even if it is still the world's 3rd largest, it is bound to drop lower in the rankings if its economy cannot get out of stagnation. Its high surplus or savings rate in the past proved to be a problem later on in the game as consumer demand also stagnated because the Japanese wants to save more instead of spending it.
With a GDP (PPP) of $3.13 trillion and a growth rate of 2.7% in 2011, Germany is a leading exporter of chemical and machinery. It is also the top financier and the largest economy in the European Union. Fiscal problems within the Eurozone particularly that of Greece's carried a significant burden to Germany's economic growth but still managed to pull a positive growth rate thanks to a recent rebound in exports and manufacturing orders.
Russia's revitalized market economy from a centrally planned economy proved very beneficial to its citizens jumping right up to world's 6th largest economy. As the world's leading oil producer and possessing the world's largest natural gas reserves, Russia has a GDP (PPP) at $2.4 trillion and is still growing at a rate of 4.3% as of 2011.
Brazil's GDP (PPP) at $2.32 trillion overtook the United Kingdom to claim the world's 7th largest economy. At a real growth rate of 2.7% in 2011 down from 7.5% in 2010 it is still reasonable to say that Brazil's economy will stay ahead of Britain's sluggish economy.
8. United Kingdom
Britain's public debt coupled with an economic slow down gradually reduced its growth rate from 1.4% in 2010 to only 1.1% in 2011, these figures are actually a great improvement from a negative 4 growth rate back in 2009. The U.K's GDP (PPP) as of 2011 is at $2.29 trillion, but with a slow growth rate, it is uncertain whether the U.K can reclaim its former spot from Brazil as the 7th largest.
France's growing unemployment rate, and fiscal deficits pushed the country to implement austerity measures to bring down its budget deficit to a 3% target by the year 2013. Its growth rate since has increased from a -2.6% in 2010 to 1.7% in 2011. France's GDP (PPP) is at $2.24 trillion.
With a growth rate of 0.38% in 2011, Italy might lose its spot as the world's 10th largest economy to Mexico which is closing in with a real growth rate of 3.8% in 2011 and a GDP (PPP) of $1.68 trillion compared to Italy's $1.87 trillion. Italy's sluggish economic growth is largely impacted by the Eurozone crisis.