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Developing Economies

China Headed For Number 2 Spot

Jess Jiang/NPR
Graph comparing economic growth rates in China, Japan, and the US
Jess Jiang/NPR

Chinese President Hu Jintao will have some good news to celebrate when he returns home tomorrow. China's economy grew 10.3 percent in 2010, making it extremely likely the country will overtake Japan as the world's second largest economy.

Japan won't release it's year-end GDP number until February but China's growth will be hard to beat. China's GDP surpassed Japan's for the first time in the second quarter of 2010. But, in the third quarter of this year, Japan squeaked by China, with GDP totaling a nominal $3.959 trillion compared with China's $3.947 trillion. Japan has held the number 2 spot for 42 years.

The U.S. will release its year-end GDP figure next week and despite sluggish growth, China's economy is still much smaller than that of the U.S. The IMF expects U.S. GDP to top $14.62 trillion this year, China's GDP for 2010 was $5.88 trillion.