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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 02/14/2011

China overtakes Japan as world's No. 2 economy

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

In a historic shift of economic powers, China has leapfrogged over Japan to become the world's second-largest economy.

Japan's government made it official Monday when it said that its economy shrank at a 1.1 percent annual rate for the last three months of 2010. China's GDP, meanwhile, surged 9.8 percent. That made Japan's full-year GDP $5.47 trillion, compared with the $5.88 trillion China reported. Both economies remain significantly smaller than that of the world's largest economy -- the United States.

While GDP estimates by individual countries, think tanks and other groups don't always match up, the International Monetary Fund is considered among the most reliable. Check out the surge in China's GDP from 2000 in this graphic:

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | February 14, 2011; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  International Economics  
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