Growing by 9.9 percent in 2005, China’s economy overtook the U.K. as the world’s fourth largest, powered by record exports and investment in manufacturing. Their GDP rose to 18.2 trillion yuan ($2.26 trillion) after increasing 10.1 percent in 2004, according to the Beijing statistics bureau, while the U.K. economy was worth 1.13 trillion pounds ($2.02 trillion) in 2005.
Over the past decade exports have helped China’s economy more than double in size, driving commodities prices to records and increasing trade tensions with the U.S. and Europe. The Chinese government is said to need consumer spending to push growth in 2006 since excess manufacturing threatens to cause bankruptcies and bad loans.
According to a Bloomberg News survey, China’s economy grew 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier after expanding a revised 9.8 percent in the previous three month. Forecast growth of 9.5 percent in the quarter by economists and 9.8 percent for the full year was also reported in the survey.
The U.S. economy is the world’s largest and measured $11.7 trillion in 2004, followed by Japan and Germany. Yesterday India’s central bank forecast expansion of as much as 8 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31 for their $665 billion economy.