The Markets


Sometime this year, you may have the opportunity to experience an event that’s rarer than a lunar or solar eclipse – an economic eclipse. The United States (US) has had the world’s largest economy since it surpassed Britain’s back in 1872, but the US economy is about to be overshadowed by China’s. 

A lot of folks were anticipating an economic eclipse sometime around the end of this decade. As it turns out, the event horizon may be much, much shorter. Last week, The World Bank released its International Comparison Program (ICP) report. Every six years, in an effort to measure the real size of the world economy, the ICP surveys countries and measures their relative economic might. The ICP report was the final analysis of data collected during 2011. It found, at that time, the US had the world’s biggest economy. It also established that China’s economy had grown much faster than the US economy between 2005 and 2011. China’s economic growth has continued to exceed that of the US. As a result, China’s economy is expected to eclipse that of the US during 2014. The US economy will be the second largest and behind the US will be India. The ICP also noted that:

Some people are unsettled by the news. Among them, apparently, are members of China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). According to The Washington Post, the NBS expressed reservations about the study’s methodology and did not endorse the results as official statistics. As with solar and lunar eclipses, the event may be notable, but its effects are unclear.