China GDP tops Japan in Q3: govt

10:37, December 10, 2010      

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China's economy again beat Japan's in the third quarter, and Asia's rising giant remained on course to unseat Japan as the world's No. 2 economy for the year as a whole, data showed Thursday.

Japan stressed that it remained ahead for the first nine months, thanks to strong growth in the first quarter. But since then it has been outperformed by China, a trend that is expected to continue.

For July-September, China's nominal gross domestic product of $1.42 trillion beat Japan's $1.37 trillion, the cabinet office in Tokyo said, quoting average Japan interbank exchange rates and an IMF yuan-dollar rate.

China eclipsed Japan in the second quarter, as the archipelago nation was hit by cooling exports and flat domestic consumption from April to June.

However, Japan's nominal GDP for January to September was $3.96 trillion, while China's was $3.95 trillion, according to the official.

Beijing has been criticized for keeping the yuan artificially low, suggesting that China's nominal GDP should be even higher, while the recent strength of the yen versus the dollar has pushed up Japan's figure.

Japan Thursday revised its July to September growth higher to an annualized 4.5 percent from an initial estimate of 3.9 percent.

But China's trajectory in surpassing Japan as the world's second-biggest economy this year will be likely strengthened by an expected Japanese slowdown in the fourth quarter as export growth cools.

Japan's post-war "economic miracle" put it at No. 2 behind the US for more than 40 years, but stagnation after its property bubble burst in the 1990s has helped put China on course to supplant it this year.

However, Japan remains more than 10 times richer on a per-capita basis, according to the International Monetary Fund.

While China's leap forward reflects a shift in economic power as the country continues its transformation from poverty-hit country to global heavyweight, it also highlights the need for Japan to re-energize its economy, analysts say.

Despite its crawling out of a severe year-long recession in 2009, Japan's recovery remains fragile with deflation, high public debt, weak domestic demand, softening exports and a strong yen all concerns for policymakers.

Source: Global Times


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