According to international economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, IMF, the World Bank, WB, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, in 2006, the environment was still favourable for world economic growth. The global economy obtained a rather high growth rate of 5.1 percent annually, and an increase of 0.8 percent against 2005. The explosion of global trade and the thriving activities of merged markets made a considerable contribution to global economic development last year.
In 2006, the GDP growth rate of 30 OECD member countries reached 3.2 per cent, 0.4 more than 2005. Meanwhile, the United States’ GDP growth rate reduced due to the freezing of the real estate market and reached 3.4 per cent, 0.2 percent lower than it was in 2005. In the previous years, the world economy depended on the push of the US economy, currently this situation is changed. However, according to OECD, the US’s slower economic growth rate will not seriously affect other economies. In any case, the US’s economic growth rate remains the highest amongst other developed industrial economies.
The EU economy has obviously improved. According to the EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, the European economy has become less dependent on the US. The EU’s economic growth rate in 2006 reached 2.8 per cent, 1.1 percent against 2005. This was the highest growth rate since the beginning of the 21st century.
Japan’s economy has steadily been restored. According to the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, the country’s economy continued to grow uninterruptedly in the 7th quarter with an annual growth rate of 2 percent.
Developing countries obtained a high GDP growth rate. According to the WB, their growth rate reached 7 percent, 0.6 higher than 2005. Developing Asian economies continued to lead the world with a GDP growth rate of more than 8 percent, nearly 3 percent higher than 2005. East Asian economies such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are moving towards the fifth consecutive year of rapid growth.
China’s economy obtained the highest growth rate. According to the Chinese National Economic Research Institute, its GDP growth rate in 2006 reached about 10.5 percent.
China is followed by India. In 2006, India’s economy reached the highest growth rate since the country began economic reforms early in the 1990s. The country economy valued at US$ 780 billion has obtained a growth rate of more than 8 percent over the last two years.
African economies attained growth rates higher than the world average level. In 2006, for the third consecutive year, African economies grew by 5.4 percent. The Sub-Saharan region had a GDP growth rate of 5.2 percent; South Africa, 4.2 percent; and oil exporting countries, 6.7 percent.
According to the Latin American Economic Committee, CEPAL, Latin American countries’ GDP growth rate in 2006 was 5.3 percent, consolidating the economic restoration, which began in 2004. Brazil, the biggest economy in the region, obtained a GDP growth rate of 3.6 percent and Argentina, a GDP of 8 per cent.
In 2006, Russia’s macro economy was further stabilised with an annual GDP growth rate of nearly 7 percent. According to the Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister, German Gref, Russia is in a new economic development period.