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China to Pass US as Top Economy in 2033, Not 2029: Think Tank

JCER said last year it expected China’s economy to be bigger than the US in 2028 or 2029, depending on impacts of the Covid pandemic, but China’s growth has been hit by other factors

Japan's core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices but includes fuel costs, increased 0.2% in January. Photo: Reuters.


China’s economy is expected to surpass that of the United States in 2033 – not 2029, as expected a year ago by the Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER), the Tokyo think tank said in its latest revised forecast.

But JCER said Beijing is damaging the country’s growth potential by clamping down on high-tech and other big industries.

The report, issued on Wednesday, also cites China’s decarbonisation drive as well as the debt burden in the property sector.

Researchers at JCER led by Atsushi Tomiyama, director of its Asia forecasting office, said South Korea would in 2027 overtake Japan in per capita gross domestic product (GDP). And Taiwan would do so a year later, they added.


Korea and Taiwan Rising

Higher labour productivity in South Korea and Taiwan is expected to push up per capita GDP by more than 4 points, while Japan’s per capita GDP is expected to grow at less than 2 points.

The think tank said Tokyo’s delayed digitisation in the government and other sectors would hamper Japan’s productivity.

JCER, which analysed 18 Asia-Pacific economies through to 2035, forecast that China’s nominal GDP would overtake that of the US in 2033.

Last year, the JCER said it expected this to take place in 2028 if the Covid-19 pandemic were to become a more serious menace or in 2029 if the pandemic were to follow a standard scenario.



  • George Russell





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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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