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New forecast: China will overtake the US as world’s largest economy in 2017

By Christopher Mims
ChinaPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

But as long as China continues to use a significant portion of its GDP to prop up America’s military adventures through the purchase of US government debt, it’s unlikely this development will change the geopolitical landscape all that much. By 2020, three of the world’s five largest economies will belong to currently “emerging” countries, says market research firm Euromonitor, which means Germany won’t even be on the list anymore, having been displaced by Russia.

To put that in perspective: In 1990, George H. W. Bush was president, Saddam Hussein was in Kuwait, and the US accounted for 25% of the world’s gross domestic product. By 2020, forecasts Euromonitor, that figure will be 16% to China’s 19%. Russia, meanwhile, will overtake Germany as the world’s fifth largest economy, owing primarily to its gigantic energy sector and the growing consumer class that it empowers.

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