North America spans the northern continent of the Americas and is situated in the Northern Hemisphere. North America is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, and to the west by the North Pacific Ocean. North America covers an area of more than 9.5 million square miles and has a population of nearly 530 million. After Asia and Africa, North America is the third largest continent in the world. It comprises of countries like the USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Haiti.
The North American economy is a diverse one. While the US and Canada is blessed with a modern and sophisticated economic system, the economy of Mexico is still undergoing major developments in sectors like power, transportation and manufacturing.
North America Economy: USA Economic Profile
The US has the largest and the most technologically developed economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $46,900. Business firms in the US enjoy a greater degree of flexibility compared to businesses in Japan and Western Europe in terms of innovation and expansion. The GDP-PPP of the US in 2009 was $14.25 trillion, down from $14.61 trillion in the previous year. The GDP-real growth rate contracted by 2.4% in 2009, a sharp drop from 2008 levels when the rate was +0.4%. The services sector contributes 76% to the nation’s GDP, followed by industry and agriculture at 21.9% and 1.2% respectively. The unemployment rate in the US was 9.4% in 2009, up from 5.8% in 2008.
North America Economy: Canada Economic Profile
Canada is equipped with a high tech industrial economy, and resembles the US in its market oriented economic system, production pattern and high living standards. Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993-2007. Canada was affected by the 2007-08 recession. In 2009, after showing 12 years of surplus, Ottawa featured its first fiscal deficit in 2009. The Canadian banks, however, emerged from the crisis, owing to conservative lending practices and strong capitalization. Canada’s GDP-PPP in 2009 was $1.287 trillion, down from $1.319 trillion in 2008. The services sector contributes 69.6% to the nation’s GDP, followed by industry and agriculture at 28.4% and 2% respectively.