According to a Gallup poll, 40% of US Americans now see China as the World’s leading economic power, against 33% who see the US as the leading economic power, 13% Japan and a mere 7% the European Union.
The bizarre aspect of this is that the GDP of the US in 2006 was 13.200 billion USD against a Chinese GDP of a little under … wait for it … 2.700 billion USD. That is about 20% of the US GDP – and there are more than four times as many Chinese as US Americans. Just in the European Union, the German economy is larger than the Chinese.*
Topic for discussion: Why do people (actually, I suspect that many Europeans would make equally wrong guesses about the Chinese economy) grossly overestimate the size of the Chinese economy and underestimate the size of the European economy? Is it the media talking up China, the result of business confederations using “the Chinese card” or what?
*If you want the IMF’s data, they are here.
Note #1: I recall reading a blog post or an article about the relative economic sizes of the world’s biggest economies earlier this week but apparently forgot to bookmark it.
Note #2: Yes, I am aware of the purchasing power problem and that the Chinese economy appears to be growing at a high rate, but the discrepancy between China’s perceived and real economic size is still mind-boggling.