The United States will remain richer than China for the next 50 years or more – long after the Asian economy is expected to overtake the United States and become the largest in the world, the economist said on Friday.
“I think it’s very unlikely that … China will reach the US level of GDP per capita – that’s our measure of wealth – at least for the next 50 years, if ever,” said Simon Baptist, chief global economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit. told CNBC “Street signs Asia.”
GDP per capita measures the productive economy per person and is a common measure of prosperity.
The latest available data from the International Monetary Fund show that China’s GDP per capita is projected to be $ 10,582.10 in 2020 – roughly six times less than the US $ 63,051.40
Baptist’s comments followed Joe Biden first official press conference since taking office, during which the U.S. president said he would not allow China to become a “leading country” globally.
“I see strong competition with China. China has a common goal – and I don’t criticize them for that goal. But they have a general goal to become the leading country, the richest country in the world and the most powerful country in China. The world,” Biden said.
“It’s not going to happen on my watch,” he added.
America and China can be ‘uniform’
The Baptist said China would become “another very great power” alongside the United States on the global stage. Which of the two is more powerful depends on where they have that power, he added.
“I think in Asia the U.S. will probably find it very difficult to remain the most powerful country until the 2030s, but it will remain evenly aligned for quite some time,” Baptist said.
China was to be the world’s largest economy
The Chinese economy – nominally in US dollars – is projected to overtake the US around 2032 and become the largest in the world, Baptist said. That forecast was made from 2034 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.
China has returned abruptly from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus. It became the only major economy to grow last year, after recording GDP growth of 2.3%. In contrast, the US economy shrank by 3.5% in 2020 compared to a year earlier, estimated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Baptist prognosis seemed more conservative than the others. Helen Qiao, head of Asian economics at Bank of America Global Research, told CNBC last month about the Chinese economy surpass the US around 2027 to 2028.
The U.S. economy “will eventually become smaller just because China’s population is so much larger,” Baptist said. “Now it doesn’t really mean anything special when your gross domestic value takes over the dollar, but it’s a bit of a turning point.”