Quick, informal, ranking of national economys

I’ve noticed that Silvio Berlusconi may be on his way out, because of the ongoing debt crisis in Italy. That got me thinking on where nations all stand: I’m understanding that Greece is having a serious problem, Italy and Portugal a less serious, yet pretty bad, Spain somewhat less, Germany not too bad. How would we rank them, and where does the current US crisis fit on the continuum? I don’t know how we can get a ranking on the SDMB, but I was wondering how the economics of different nations compare, lately.

Well…I’d say that all of the PIIGS countries are in fairly deep shit, though to varying degrees. France is also having some issues but (my uninformed understanding) is that they aren’t nearly as bad. Germany is actually in relatively good shape, comparatively speaking (again, my uninformed understanding). The US? I’d say that, bad as things are here, they aren’t in the same league the PIIGS countries, though I have no idea where that ranks us on the badness scale. China is also having issues and their own real estate bubble happening, but I’m not sure what that means for how strong it is or isn’t wrt the rest of the world.

Right now it seems that the most precarious situation is in the Euro-Zone, as they seem to be teetering on the brink, and there are a number of things that could set them over the edge. From what little I’ve read there is real concern about a dissolution of the EZ and the Euro currency, as countries get out and go back to individual currencies. I’m not knowledgeable enough to know how likely that is, or what it would mean in terms of the current EZ nations or in terms of the world economy or what effect that would have on the US though.

-XT

Well, there a number of ways to measure this: GDP growth, unemployment, debt to GDP ratio, deficit to GDP ratios.

Then you’d probably need to find a mix of these. Either way I think we can conclude Zimbabwe is doing pretty poorly.

Here you go. This should cover it.

It would help if it had a legend. :smack:

It does.

Once upon a time, there was a proud little economist who declared he would lop and fit all countries’ economic characteristics into a procrustean model . . .

You do need to decide exactly what quality you want to rank them by. Ranking by public debt to GDP ratio, for example, focuses at the finances of the governmental authorities, while ranking by GDP growth looks more to the totality of the economy. You’ll get very different listings with these two measures.

The contrast between the debt to GDP ratio of the US and its S&P rating is interesting. The debt to GDP ratio is relatively good, and indicates that the US has comfortable capacity to repay its debt as it falls due. But the S&P rating is comparatively poor, indicating a fear that, although the US could pay its debt if it chose to, there is a material risk that for political reasons it will choose not to.

Scroll down;
Green - AAA
Turquoise - AA
Lighter blue - A
Darker blue - BBB
Purple - BB
Red - B
Grey - not rated

Huh? Senegal has a 50% unemployment rate??? And Zimbabwe [COLOR=“Red”]97 %[/COLOR]??? How is that even possible?

Since economies are abstract and superficial ways to classify social groups, you’d have to establish your own set of superficial qualification standards to then classify or scale countries according to your subjective measure.

And if Canada doesn’t end up in the top ten, you’re doing it wrong.

Remind me how S&P rated Lehman Brothers a few months before they went under?

Oh right.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that many of the numbers for island and African nations are inaccurate. I was more using it as a reference for the nations the OP seemed to be interested in (Europe, the US, Canada, and perhaps Aus/NZ).

Actually, it’s improved to around 70%, but there were periods where it hit that high. Zimbabwe is among the worst places to do business in the world.

Official unemployment rates only look at people with jobs that have salaries, and don’t figure in the informal sector, which is where the vast majority of people in impoverished countries work. I was in Zimbabwe this summer, and as far as I can tell, most of the country is scratching by selling phone credit on the street. Sustenance farmers, small-time traders, most domestic workers, street vendors, unregistered cab drivers, sex workers, day laborers, etc. are not counted in unemployment figures.

Kind of sad, but an actual “I go to work and somebody pays me for it” job is a relative rarity on this planet, and billions of people are just scraping by with however they can drum up some cash.