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New York Times debates when it will tell readers that China has the world’s largest economy

Summary:
From Dean Baker That seems to be the implication of a David Sanger piece commenting on the state of U.S. relations with Russia and China. At one point Sanger notes that China is a rising economic power: “Economists debate when the Chinese will have the world’s largest gross domestic product — perhaps toward the end of this decade” Actually, China already has the world’s largest economy using purchasing power parity measures of GDP, which is what most economists view as the best basis of comparison. Here is what that well-known source of Chinese propaganda, the CIA World Factbook, has to say on the topic. “From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis

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from Dean Baker

That seems to be the implication of a David Sanger piece commenting on the state of U.S. relations with Russia and China. At one point Sanger notes that China is a rising economic power:

“Economists debate when the Chinese will have the world’s largest gross domestic product — perhaps toward the end of this decade”

Actually, China already has the world’s largest economy using purchasing power parity measures of GDP, which is what most economists view as the best basis of comparison.

Here is what that well-known source of Chinese propaganda, the CIA World Factbook, has to say on the topic.

“From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2017 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world’s largest exporter in 2010, and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China’s per capita income is below the world average.”

Since China has four times as many people as the United States, it is still much poorer on a per person basis, but its economy is already considerably larger than the U.S. economy and is likely to be close to twice as large as the U.S. economy by the end of the decade.

Dean Baker
Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He is a regular Truthout columnist and a member of Truthout's Board of Advisers.

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