Post–World War II and economic expansion  


By the end of World war II, the European economy had collapsed with 70% of the industrial infrastructure destroyed. The property damage in the Soviet Union consisted of complete or partial destruction of 1,710 cities and towns, 70,000 villages/hamlets, and 31,850 industrial establishments. The strength of the economic recovery following the war varied throughout the world, though in general it was quite robust. In Europe, West Germany, after having continued to decline economically during the first years of the Allied occupation, later experienced a remarkable recovery, and had by the end of the 1950s doubled production from its pre-war levels. Italy came out of the war in poor economic condition, but by the 1950s, the Italian economy was marked by stability and high growth. France rebounded quickly and enjoyed rapid economic growth and modernisation under the Monnet Plan. The UK, by contrast, was in a state of economic ruin after the war and continued to experience relative economic decline for decades to follow.
The Soviet Union also experienced a rapid increase in production in the immediate post-war era. Japan experienced rapid economic growth, becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world by the 1980s.China, following the conclusion of its civil war, was essentially bankrupt. By 1953, economic restoration seemed fairly successful as production had resumed pre-war levels. This growth rate mostly persisted, though it was interrupted by economic experiments during the disastrous Great Leap Forward.
At the end of the war, the United States produced roughly half of the world's industrial output. This dominance had lessened significantly by the early 1970s.