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Share of Developing Economies in Global Output Rises to 41%

Developing economies now produce 41 percent of the world's output, up from 36 percent in 2000, the World Bank said Friday.

"The combined output of the world's economies reached 59 trillion dollars in 2006," said the international institution in its World Development Indicators (WDI) 2008.

Using new measurements that take into account the differences in price levels between economies, five of the 12 largest economies are developing economies, according to the report.

"Strong growth over the period has increased the shares of all developing regions except Latin America and the Caribbean, while the share of high-income economies fell by 5 percent," the World Bank said.

This year's WDI introduces new estimates of purchasing power parity (PPP). PPPs are used to convert local currencies to a common currency -- in this case the US dollar.

By taking account of price differences between economies on a broad range of products and services, PPPs allow more accurate comparisons of market size, the structure of economies, and what money can buy.

The new PPPs replace previous benchmark estimates, many of them from 1993 and some dating back to the 1980s. These new estimates are based on the recently released results of the International Comparison Program -- a cooperative program involving 146 economies.

WDI 2008 provides a detailed picture of the world through data. It includes, for example, information on health expenditures, on transport and other infrastructure services, on the quality of public sector management, on Internet access, on access to improved water sources, and on carbon dioxide emissions.

"The goal of the WDI is to present a comprehensive picture of the world using the best statistical evidence available," explains Eric Swanson, Program Manager with the World Bank's Development Data Group, at a press briefing.

The WDI "allows us to view development not just in terms of economic outputs, but also through the welfare of people, the condition of the environment, and the quality of governance," Swanson said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2008)

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