China overtakes the US as world's largest economy

China's Economy Shows More Weakness, and More


The U.S. no longer boasts the world's largest economy.

China, the world's most populous country, has overtaken America to claim the title of world's number one economic powerhouse, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

By year's end, China's economic output will reach $17.6 trillion – the U.S. will slide down to second with a mere $17.4 trillion.

Just over a decade ago, in 2000, the Americans produced three-times as much as the Chinese, MarketWatch noted. The Chinese economy was one-tenth the size of the U.S. in 1980, according to the Financial Times (FT).

China's growth means it now accounts for 16.5 percent of the world's economy, according to the financial news site. The U.S. is holding down 16.3 percent.

The IMF made the calculations by measuring purchasing-power parity (PPP), which does not account for fluctuations in exchange rates when measuring economies.

Similar goods cost the same in both Shanghai and New York, as far as PPP is concerned.

Experts have predicted this monumental shift in economic power for years. It was never a question of if, but rather when.

The U.S. sat atop the world economic perch since 1872, when it passed Great Britain. The Brits only held the title for a handful of years, though, according to FT.

Who did Great Britain surpass to claim the temporary perch? China, of course. The Chinese had the world's largest economy as late as 1870, an economic historian told the paper.

Despite the inevitability of the world's most populous country assuming the top of the economic food chain, China's ascension carries a rather large caveat.

The per-person Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is less than one-quarter that of the U.S., according to FT. It is still far from being the world's wealthiest nation.

That distinction remains American.

China passes US economy
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China overtakes the US as world's largest economy
People perform martial arts during sunrise at the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River, against the skyline of the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai on December 1, 2014. The weather forecast for the coming days is cold for eastern China. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Fan of Chinese Yuan currency notes
International Arrivals flight information board at new Terminal 3 at Beijing International Airport
Traditional and modern districts, Shanghai, China
TIANJIN, CHINA - 2014/12/01: Chinese consumers on a little square in Florentia Village. The Florentia Village, a replica of Italian town, located in Wuqing, an outskirt station between Beijing and Tianjin, is a luxury and fashion outlet mall retail park. Nearly all the consumers take intercity high-speed rail here from Beijing or Tianjin. In addition to two new openings in 2015, Florentia hopes to open seven outlets across the mainland, extending to second-tier cities such as Chengdu and Qingdao by 2017. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
HARBIN, CHINA - DECEMBER 04: (CHINA OUT) World's largest 40-meter-long steel carp with the height of 13 meters and the width of 10 meters is seen on December 4, 2014 in Harbin, Heilongjiang province of China. World's largest steel carp was built at Harbin ice and snow world on Thursday. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Pedestrians cross a street in Beijing on December 1, 2014. China's manufacturing growth skidded to an eight-month low in November, an official survey showed Monday, fuelling speculation authorities will take further steps to stimulate the world's second-largest economy. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
Hong Kong skyline at dusk, Central business and financial district, Bank of China building, Hong Kong Island, China
Illuminations of Hong Kong Island famous high rise buildings skyline floodlit at night from The Peak China
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