Together, the US and China comprise just over 40% of global GDP in US dollar terms — the highest figure ever.
The US alone contributes 25% to world GDP, aided by the recent strength of the dollar. This is, however, down from its peak of 32% in 2001, ahead of 9/11, notes Stanlib chief economist Kevin Lings.
China comprises 15.4% of world GDP, up from just 3.6% in 2000 and 1.7% in 1990.
SA represents just 0.36% of world GDP, estimates Lings. At its most recent peak, in 2010/2011, it comprised 0.57% but its standing has been eroded by low economic growth and rand weakness.
In 1983, ahead of President PW Botha’s Rubicon speech and the introduction of US sanctions, SA represented 0.77% of world GDP.
SA accounts for 18% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and has retaken the top spot from Nigeria, which has been laid low by falling growth and a steep currency devaluation.