The Economist: Counting China: nearer to number one

The Economist: Counting China: nearer to number one. The gap between China and America in the race to be world's biggest economy could become $1 trillion smaller today, thanks to a new Chinese census. As part of the survey, the first since 2008, China's statisticians have tweaked their accounting methods, classifying research as investment and using rents to estimate property spending. These changes, which bring China into line with international norms, are expected to boost GDP (already nearly $10 trillion) by 5-10%. The revision won't affect China's growth trends: headwinds are still strengthening. But its debt load will appear a bit more manageable and the balance between consumption and investment a little healthier. And for those counting, the Chinese economy will be just about $6 trillion behind America's at market exchange rates, making it all the more likely that China will claim the number-one spot within a decade.

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