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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/30/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Asian giant has contributed to one-fourth of the world's economic growth

It's an extremely humbling moment for the United States. For the first time, since 1872 - the U.S. most relinquish the crown of the World\'s Largest Economy to China. That's' from the latest estimates from the International Comparison Program, hosted by the World Bank. And it's due to happen later this very year.

China's economic growth has yet to trickle down to the average Chinese citizen.

China's economic growth has yet to trickle down to the average Chinese citizen.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/30/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: China, economy, poverty, Chinese citizens


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The figure reflects just how much more important the Chinese economy is now to the rest of the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping is certain to place the "world's biggest economy" title front and center in the trophy cabinet dedicated his campaign for the "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."

There is a dark side to the success story. The living standards of the average Chinese citizen are still far lower than those in many developing countries -- let alone developed nations.

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According to the International Monetary Fund, China's economy ranked 93 in per capita purchasing power parity terms - slightly ahead of Turkmenistan and Albania but well behind Libya, Azerbaijan and Suriname.

China's 1.36 BILLION people are unlikely to catch up with Western living standards for many decades to come.

Adjusting the size of an economy, based upon the assumption that prices of non-tradable goods and services - this is generally a lot lower in poorer countries.

How goods or service beyond the price that is paid for it. For example, a haircut in Beijing costs just a pittance. In contrast, people are unlikely to derive the same satisfaction or perceived value from their two-minute crew-cut as someone who paid $100 in New York or even in an expensive hair salon in Beijing.

The average person can buy a cheap toaster or DVD player in Beijing, but if they want one they know will last longer than a couple of months they will pay a lot more than their counterparts in the West, where consumer protection laws are far more robust.

Another major problem in the case of China is the quality of underlying data. In such a vast country controlled by a secretive, authoritarian government, measuring the true size of the economy is very hard.

Since the financial crisis, China has contributed around one quarter of global growth. That's likely to increase given how big its economy has become.

The bigger question is probably the quality of growth and the actual impact it has on the ordinary Chinese citizen.

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