【英语财经】世行:中国今年或将成全球最大经济体 China poised to overtake US as world’s largest economy

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2014-4-30 08:27

小艾摘要: The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely expected, according to World Bank data published today.The ...
China poised to overtake US as world’s largest economy
The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely expected, according to World Bank data published today.

The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.

The figures, compiled by the International Comparison Programme of the World Bank, are the most authoritative estimates of what money can buy in different countries and are used by most public and private sector organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund. This is the first time they have been updated since 2005.

After extensive research on the prices of goods and services, the World Bank concluded that money goes further in poorer countries than previously thought, prompting it to increase the relative size of emerging market economies.

The estimates of the real cost of living, known as purchasing power parity, or PPPs, are recognised as the best way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services: on this measure the IMF put US GDP in 2012 at $16.2tn, and China’s at $8.2tn.

In 2005, the World Bank thought that China’s economy was less than half the size of the US, accounting for only 43 per cent of America’s total. Using the new methodology – and reflecting the fact that China’s economy has grown much more quickly – the research placed China’s GDP at 87 per cent of the US in 2011.

For 2011, the report says: “The US remained the world’s largest economy, but it was closely followed by China when measured using PPPs”.

With the IMF expecting China’s economy to have grown 24 per cent between 2011 and 2014 while the US is expected to expand only 7.6 per cent, China is likely to overtake the US this year.

The figures revolutionise the picture of the world’s economic landscape, boosting the importance of large middle-income countries. India becomes the third-largest economy having previously been in 10th place. The size of its economy almost doubled from 19 per cent of the US in 2005 to 37 per cent in 2011.

Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico make the top 12 in the global table. In contrast, high costs and lower growth push the UK and Japan further behind the US than in the 2005 tables while Germany improved its relative position a little and Italy remained the same.

The findings will intensify arguments about control over global international organisations such as the World Bank and IMF, which are increasingly out of line with the balance of global economic power.

When looking at the actual consumption per head, the report found the new methodology together with faster growth in poor countries have “greatly reduced” the gap between rich and poor, “suggesting that the world has become more equal”.

The world’s rich countries still account for 50 per cent of global GDP while containing only 17 per cent of the world’s population.

Having compared the cost of living in different countries, the report also found that the four most expensive countries to live in are: Switzerland, Norway, Bermuda and Australia, with the cheapest Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar and Ethiopia.

世界银行(World Bank)今日公布的数据显示,美国正处于失去全球最大经济体地位的边缘,今年其经济规模很可能落在中国之后。如果真是这样,这一超越则要比人们普遍预期的来得更早。

自1872年超越英国以来,美国一直是全球最大经济体。大多数经济学家此前预测,中国经济规模将在2019年超过美国。

上述数据是由世行国际比较计划(International Comparison Program)编制的,是对货币在不同国家的购买力的最权威估计,为国际货币基金组织(IMF)等大多数公共部门和私人部门机构所采用。这是自2005年以来该数据首次进行更新。

在对商品与服务的价格进行广泛研究之后,世行得出结论认为,较贫穷国家的货币购买力要比早先预期的强,因而调高了新兴市场经济体的相对规模。

作为对真实生活成本的估计,购买力平价(PPP)被认可为比较经济体规模的最佳方式,比变化无常的汇率更为理想,汇率很少能反映出商品与服务的真实成本。IMF基于汇率指标估算,2012年美国国内生产总值(GDP)为16.2万亿美元,而中国的GDP为8.2万亿美元。

2005年世行认为,中国的经济规模尚不及美国的一半,仅为美国的43%。使用购买力平价这一新的方法,并考虑到近年来中国经济增长显著快于美国这一事实,世行的研究得出的结论是,2011年中国GDP达到了美国的87%。

就2011年的情况而言,世行报告称:“美国仍是全球最大经济体,但以购买力平价衡量,中国则紧随其后”。

IMF预计,2011年至2014年中国经济增长了24%,而美国仅增长了7.6%,所以今年中国经济规模很可能会超过美国。

这些数据彻底改变了全球经济格局图景,提高了大型中等收入国家的重要性。印度此前是全球第十大经济体,如今已变为全球第三。2005年,印度经济规模是美国的19%,到2011年达到美国的37%,该比例提高了将近一倍。

俄罗斯、巴西、印尼和墨西哥都进入了全球经济前12强。相比之下,由于成本高、增长低的缘故,英国和日本相比2005年排行榜与美国的差距拉得更远,德国的相对排位略有提高,意大利则维持了原有排名。

这一结果将加剧有关世行和IMF等全球性国际机构投票权的争论,世行和IMF与全球经济实力对比越来越脱节。

在考察实际人均消费时,该报告发现,新方法加上贫穷国家增长更快这一事实,已导致贫富差距“大大缩小”,“表明世界已变得更为平等”。

世界富国的GDP仍占全球GDP的50%,而其人口却仅占全球人口的17%。

对比不同国家的生活成本之后,该报告还发现,全球生活成本最高的四个经济体是瑞士、挪威、百慕大群岛和澳大利亚,最低的是埃及、巴基斯坦、缅甸和埃塞俄比亚。

译者/邢嵬

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