A new number two

Date posted: October 18, 2010

There’s been a shakeup in the standings of world economies, with a switch in the number two and number three positions. N.C. State University extension economist Mike Walden gives the details.

“This is measured by a concept called gross domestic product, which is simply the financial value of everything that is produced by a country in a year. It doesn’t matter if it is a manufactured product, a service product, a farm product — whatever, we lump all those things together.

“Up until now the U.S. has been number one, and Japan has been number two. But just recently China — China — now moved into the number two spot, edging out Japan. China’s gross domestic product on an annual basis is now $5.5 trillion — slightly higher than Japan. Japan’s number hasn’t really changed much in the last 15 years, where as China’s GDP has gone up 500 percent over that time period.

“Now how close is China to the U.S.? Well, they are still a ways back. We have a annual GDP right now of $14 trillion dollars. So we are more than twice as big in terms of that production number than China.”

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