The rivalry between China and Japan over who has the larger economy continues. Chinese economists believe the Mainland has already overtaken Nippon, while the Japanese believe it is still behind.
To add to the debate, the National Bureau of Statistics has just pushed out a new set of economic figures which upgrade Chinese GDP in 2008 from 30.1 billion yuan to 31.4 billion yuan, or from a rate of 9% growth to 9.6% year-on-year.
Is the revision significant? Well, it’s only a small change, says Goldman Sachs, especially compared to the revision of the First Economic Census in 2005, which upped the base level by almost 17%.
Goldman believes that the revision will not impact the figures for growth last year too much. Most economists have pencilled in a figure of around 9% growth for 2009.
And Goldman also calculates that Japan remained the larger economy in 2009, but only just! Using market exchange rates, the bank reckons that China’s GDP was worth US$4.9 trillion in 2009, which is lower than Japan’s at $5.1 trillion.
However, the gloating is nearly upon us. China is likely to expand its total output to $5.6 trillion in 2010 and the overtaking will be complete.