GLOBAL - China has eclipsed Japan as the world's second largest economy after posting GDP figures of $5.8trn for 2010, beating Japan's $5.474trn.
Japan lost its 42-year ranking as the world's second-biggest economy after its economy contracted in the last quarter due to weak consumer spending and a strong yen.
Figures from Tokyo show Japan's economy shrank at an annualised rate of 1.1% in the final three months of 2010, while growth fell 0.3% compared to the previous quarter.
In contrast, China's growth has been driven by the country enjoying a long-running manufacturing boom and the expansion of its domestic industries and infrastructure.
The news will not be met with surprise as many commentators believe it is inevitable China will one day become the world's biggest economy, surpassing the US.
John Hawksworth, a chief economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers, predicted China will overtake the US as the world's largest economy by 2018.
"In many ways, the renewed dominance by 2050 of China and India, with their much larger populations, is a return to the historical norm prior to the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and 19th centuries that caused a shift in global economic power from Asia to Western Europe and the US," said Hawksworth.
"This temporary shift in power is now going into reverse."
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