GDP statistics are approximations of economic size. The US made adjustments to GDP statistics that included music and other content which boosted GDP by 3%.
China GDP including Hong Kong and Macau will be about $11.6 trillion in 2015. China including Hong Kong is about 61% of the US economy in 2014 and 64% in 2015. China has passed the USA in GDP based on purchasing power parity where adjustments are made for the relative prices in different countries. So for horseshoes, hand grenades and GDP China, European Union and the United States have entered a period of approximate economic parity. All three are in the same GDP weight class. China will pass the EU and USA sometime in the next 5 to 15 years with the exact timing based upon GDP growth differentials and currency appreciation.
If the EU is viewed as one economic unit, then the US could also include Canada and Mexico.
In the future tighter integration between China and the ASEAN, Taiwan and other countries will boost China’s global economic influence.
China will continue to lag on per capita GDP for many decades, however, the richest urban areas in Shanghai and Beijing and Tianjin will catch up to about the developed world per capita GDP levels sooner. The richest 200-300 million in China will have EU levels of per capita income in about ten years. 5-10 years after China passes the USA in overall GDP, China will have an economy approximately like USA (the rich developed cities) plus South America (second and third tier) plus Indonesia (lowest tier and rural areas).
Like the EU, China will lag the United States in military power.
After this 15-20 year period of rough three-way economic equality / peerage will come changes that are more uncertain.
China will likely continue to strengthen become double to four times the economy of the USA.
The EU will likely fall further behind the USA in overall economic size. The EU has lost 20-25% relative to the USA over the last 30 years.
India could strengthen to the point that it is another economic peer. However, this would take many decades of strong economic growth.
From 2030-2050, the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and some other developed countries could more often align as an economic unit that would have the economic heft of a future rich China.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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