China becomes World's second largest economy surpassing Japan

The government of Japan has just published its latest GDP data confirming officially what everybody else already knew, China is the second largest economy in the World by GDP. The GDP of Japan contracted by 0.3% in the last semester of 2010; however 2010 was not a really bad year because as a whole the GDP grew by 3.9% in 2010. The prospects for this year are quite good but it’s almost sure that Japan will never be able to keep up with China, whose economy is booming.

In this article on The Wall Street Journal they say something very interesting:

“If Japan’s economy had grown 1% more per year over the past two decades, then we could have stayed ahead of China for another 20 years.”

It’s pretty impressive how a mere 1% every year can change things over a long period of time! But Japan couldn’t do it; in the last lost decades Japan hasn’t been able to adapt to a fast-changing world and hasn’t been able to keep up the pace of growth they had after the war.

Sources: WSJ 1 and WSJ 2.

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3 replies on “China becomes World's second largest economy surpassing Japan”

Chinese government economics stats are somewhat suspect.

Nonetheless, given that the Chinese population is more than 10 times larger than Japan’s, it is inevitable that their economy would grow bigger at some point.

In fact, this is a good thing for Japan. A lot of their export of machine tools goes to China. The growing Chinese economy should drag Japan and other trading partners in its slipstream.

As long as per capita income is good, the overall size of the economy isn’t important.

However China is still not a very free country, which is good for planned economies but not very good for having new ideas. When India really gets moving, on the other hand…

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