The basic economic structure of the industrialized countries is essentially similar. As a rule, about 65 percent of total national output (gross domestic product - GDP) is made up of consumption, 20 percent is capital spending and inventories, and 15 percent is exports, according to Banca della Svizzera Italiana.

In West Germany and Japan, the value of capital spending is 3 percentage points shy of savings, and exports are 3 percentage points higher than imports. Contrariwise, in the United States, investment takes up 20 percent of GDP, as usual, but savings stand at about 17 percent of GDP. Further, imports exceed imports by 3 percentage points.

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