PPP conversion factor, GDP (LCU per international $)

Definition: Purchasing power parity conversion factor is the number of units of a country's currency required to buy the same amounts of goods and services in the domestic market as U.S. dollar would buy in the United States. This conversion factor is for GDP. For most economies PPP figures are extrapolated from the 2011 International Comparison Program (ICP) benchmark estimates or imputed using a statistical model based on the 2011 ICP. For 47 high- and upper middle-income economies conversion factors are provided by Eurostat and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Description: The map below shows how PPP conversion factor, GDP (LCU per international $) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Somalia, with a value of 11,427.68. The country with the lowest value in the world is Kuwait, with a value of 0.17.

Source: World Bank, International Comparison Program database.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: In a market-based economy, household, producer, and government choices about resource allocation are influenced by relative prices, including the real exchange rate, real wages, real interest rates, and other prices in the economy. Relative prices also largely reflect these agents' choices. Thus relative prices convey vital information about the interaction of economic agents in an economy and with the rest of the world.

Limitations and Exceptions: Official or market exchange rates are often used to convert economic statistics in local currencies to a common currency in order to make comparisons across countries. Since market rates reflect at best the relative prices of tradable goods, the volume of goods and services that a U.S. dollar buys in the United States may not correspond to what a U.S. dollar converted to another country's currency at the official exchange rate would buy in that country, particularly when nontradable goods and services account for a significant share of a country's output. An alternative exchange rate - the purchasing power parity (PPP) conversion factor - is preferred because it reflects differences in price levels for both tradable and nontradable goods and services and therefore provides a more meaningful comparison of real output.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: PPP rates provide a standard measure allowing comparison of real levels of expenditure between countries, just as conventional price indexes allow comparison of real values over time. PPP rates are calculated by simultaneously comparing the prices of similar goods and services among a large number of countries. In the most recent round of price surveys conducted by the International Comparison Program (ICP) in 2011, 199 economies participated. The PPP conversion factors come from three sources. For 47 high- and upper middle-income countries conversion factors are provided by Eurostat and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). For the remaining 2011 ICP countries the PPP estimates are extrapolated from the 2011 ICP benchmark results, which account for relative price changes between each economy and the United States. Extrapolation for the GDP conversion factor uses the GDP implicit deflator. For countries that did not participate in the 2011 ICP round, the PPP estimates are imputed using a statistical model. More information on the results of the 2011 ICP is available at www.worldbank.org/data/icp.

Periodicity: Annual