■ China Could Overtake U.S. as the World’s No. 1 Economy This Year

New data from the World Bank suggests China could surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest economy as early as this year.

China’s economy is catching up to the U.S.’s much more quickly than anticipated. That’s according to a new report from the International Comparison Program of the World Bank.

The study recalibrates GDP statistics based on updated estimates of “purchasing-power parity” — a measure of what money can actually buy in different economies. In the process, the economy of China comes out far larger than we had previously thought. Its GDP surges to $13.5 trillion in 2011 (the latest year available), compared with the $7.3 trillion calculated using exchange rates. That catapults China’s economy much closer to that of the U.S.—at $15.5 trillion. Forecasting ahead, these figures show that China could overtake America as the world’s largest economy as early as this year.

(Time)

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