How Has the Pandemic Changed the World Economic Rankings?

April 22, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has been a global crisis, but it hit some nations harder than others. This disparate impact has, according to a CNBC analysis, shaken up the ranking of the world’s largest economies. CNBC looked at the International Monetary Fund’s Economic Outlook database and compared the nominal GDP of the world’s 10 largest economies to see how things changed between 2019 and 2020.

The U.S., China, Japan, and Germany still take the top four spots, but India fell from its fifth-place ranking in 2019 to sixth place in 2020, falling behind the United Kingdom. According to CNBC’s analysis of the IMF projections, India is unlikely to climb back to fifth place until at least 2023.

France and Italy held steady at 7 and 8 respectively. Brazil, the world’s ninth-largest economy in 2019, fell out of the top 10 entirely, tumbling to 12th place in 2020. Brazil was especially hard hit by the virus, facing the second-highest death tally in the world and an economic contraction of 4.1%. The nation is not expected to reenter the top 10 until at least 2026, the furthest that the IMF’s projections go.

Canada climbed from tenth to ninth, and South Korea entered the top 10 for the first time. The nation was one of the most successful in containing the virus and saw its GDP contract by just 1% in 2020.

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