G20 GDP growth slows in the fourth quarter of 2021 says OECD

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the G20 area rose by 1.4% between the third and fourth quarters of 2021 according to provisional estimates, down from the 1.9% increase recorded between the second and third quarters.

The slowdown in the G20 area in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021 mainly reflects decelerating growth in India,[1] where GDP increased by 1.8% quarter-on-quarter after rising by 13.7% in the third quarter (Q3). It also reflects slower quarter-on-quarter growth in the European Union (EU) where GDP rose by 0.4% in Q4 2021, down from 2.2% in Q3. Germany, the EU’s largest economy, saw a fall in GDP of 0.3% in Q4 and was the only G20 country to record a contraction.[2] GDP growth also slowed in Saudi Arabia (to 1.6% in Q4, compared with 5.7% in Q3) and Turkey (to 1.5%, compared with 2.8%).

Despite the trend for the G20 area as a whole, many G20 countries recorded stronger growth in Q4 2021 than in Q3. In the United States quarter-on-quarter GDP growth rose to 1.7%, from 0.6% in the previous quarter, and in China it rose to 1.6%, from 0.7%. GDP growth also rose in Indonesia, from a weak 0.1% in Q3 to a robust 3.9% in Q4, with GDP exceeding its pre-pandemic level for the first time (by 2.9%). In Australia GDP recovered from a Q3 drop of 1.9%, increasing by 3.4% in Q4, while in South Africa GDP rose by 1.2% in Q4 (from minus 1.7% in Q3) and in Brazil it rose by 0.5% (from minus 0.1%). Mexico recorded no growth in Q4 2021 after a contraction of 0.7% in the previous quarter.

Looking back at growth for 2021 as a whole, according to initial estimates, GDP in the G20 area increased by 6.1% following the 3.2% fall recorded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among G20 countries, Turkey recorded the highest growth in 2021 (11.0%), followed by India (8.3%) and China (8.1%), while Japan recorded the lowest growth (1.6%).

Notes

[1] India’s nominal GDP represented 8.3% of G20 GDP in 2020 (see Annex table 1 in the methodological note).

[1] In the OECD GDP growth release issued on 21 February 2022, Germany’s GDP contraction was estimated at minus 0.7 % in Q4 2021 (now revised to minus 0.3 %). GDP growth in the OECD area in Q4 2021 remained unchanged (at 1.2 %).

Methodological note for the OECD QNA press release: G20 GDP growth

GDP for the G20 countries covers roughly 80 % of the world GDP while OECD GDP covers 45 %. As such, economic growth of the G20 area provides a proxy of global economic growth.

This first estimate of GDP growth for the G20 aggregate in the latest quarter is produced by the OECD Secretariat. It is based on quarterly seasonally adjusted data reported by G20 economies and Eurostat and it covers 95 % of the G20 GDP.

Definitions

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the standard measure of the value added created through the production of goods and services in a country during a certain period. As such, it also measures the income earned from that production, or the total amount spent on final goods and services (less imports). The indicator shown in the press release is based on real GDP (also called GDP at constant prices or GDP in volume), i.e. the developments over time are adjusted for price changes. The numbers are also adjusted for seasonal influences.

Three indicators are presented for GDP: percentage change on the previous quarter, percentage change on the same quarter of the previous year and cumulative growth since Q4-2019 (before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic). Furthermore, when Q4 data is released, preliminary estimates of annual growth are included. These are calculated as the sum of the four quarters of year Y divided by the sum of the four quarters of year Y-1, based on data not seasonally or calendar adjusted. However, when unadjusted data is not yet available for the last quarter, the preliminary growth for the last year is based on seasonally and calendar adjusted data.

Country notes

 The statistical data in this publication are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant statistical authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, or to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries.

China – China is part of the G20 aggregate for all quarters. Data shown in the tables correspond to official figures from the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS). Quarterly data used to compile the G20 aggregate are based on estimates from the OECD’s Economics Department, which are not shown in the tables.