According to the International Comparison Programme of the World Bank, later this year the Chinese economy will become larger than that of the United States measured by purchasing power parity. Already, by the end of 2011 it was 87% of the size of the US economy. The United States has been the world’s largest economy since 1872 when it overtook the UK. The Chinese economy had previously been expected to overtake the US economy in 2019, in other words five years later. Despite the bearish sentiments of many western commentators over the years, the Chinese economy has consistently outperformed the predictions about its rise.

China Overtakes the US as the World's Largest EconomySource: FT, IMF Statistics, World Bank ICP 2011 Estimates