China is now world’s second-largest economy

Monday, February 14, 2011

BEIJING - China has become the world’s second-largest economy after the US, ending Japan’s 42-year reign in the second spot, according to Tokyo’s gross domestic product (GDP) figures released Monday.

Japan’s GDP fell 1.1 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter of 2010, the first contraction in five quarters, the Shanghai Daily reported citing the Japanese Cabinet Office.

It said Japanese economic output was at $5.47 trillion in 2010, compared to China’s $6.03 trillion.

With a stable growth momentum and an advancing rate of 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter, China consolidated its position, ending the year with an annual GDP growth of 10.3 percent from 2009.

According to the World Bank, China’s GDP per capita was $3,744 in 2009, ranking 86th worldwide. In contrast, Japan’s GDP per capita was $39,727, more than 10 times that of China.

Meanwhile, Xinhua reported that China’s foreign trade surged 44 percent year-on-year in January boosted by busy shipments ahead of the nation’s traditional Spring Festival.

Exports rose by 37.7 percent year-on-year to $150.73 billion while imports increased by 51 percent to $144.28 billion, the General Administration of Customs said.

Foreign trade totalled $295.01 billion.

The European Union remained China’s largest trade partner in 2010, with EU-China trade up 30.5 percent year-on-year to $45.97 billion. Trade with the US rose 39.2 percent year-on-year to $36.87 billion while China-Japan trade jumped 42 percent year-on-year to $27.84 billion.

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