The global current account balance, measured as a share of global GDP, also shows a narrowing trend. The global current account balance shrank to 1.3% of world GDP in 2012 from 1.5% in 2011, well down...
from its peak of 2.2% in 2007 (Figure 1.1.9). Developing Asia as a whole continued to show a surplus, contributing nearly 0.5% of world GDP to the surplus, of which more than half was from the PRC. Developing Asia’s surpluses are still large, but the region’s share of the world surplus has been declining, from almost 60% in 2009 to 41% in 2011 and to 37% in 2012.
Aside from developing Asia, the dominant supply-side contributors continue to be the Middle East (mainly oil exporters), Japan, and the Russian Federation. As the oil price has stayed elevated over the past 2 years, the Middle East’s current account surplus remained above 0.5% of world GDP.
On the deficit side, the US is the dominant player, with a deficit of nearly 0.7% of world GDP. Stable growth in overseas markets, particularly emerging markets, has helped underpin demand for US-made goods, keeping the US current account gap from expanding as sustained spending in the US drives import growth. The figures underscore US dependence on foreign investors for funding.
Sources: ADB estimates using data from International Monetary Fund; World
Economic Outlook database (October 2012); Asian Development Outlook
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