- The Bank of America’s Helen Qiao told CNBC China could double the size of its economy by 2035.
- The economist warned US-China relations could cause issues, as well as China’s aging population.
- Qiao and the Center for Economics and Business Research said China would overtake the US by 2028.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Experts have long been wondering when the Chinese economy will overtake the US and claim the top spot as the world’s largest economy.
In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the second-largest economy, according to The Guardian.
In 2020, the country overtook the US to become the European Union’s biggest trading partner as reported by the BBC.
Speaking to CNBC, head of Asia economics at the Bank of America Global Research, Helen Qiao, said that China could double the size of its economy by 2035 and would overtake the US at some point between 2027 and 2028.
“Last year, China was one of the only sizeable economics that achieved a positive GDP growth,” Qiao said. “And this year, we’re expecting China to achieve 8.5% GDP growth as well.”
Qiao’s figures are supported by the Center for Economics and Business Research, which released a report in December saying China would overtake the US in 2028.
A Reuters report said the think tank believed this would happen five years earlier than predicted due to the pandemic.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, China’s economy experienced a GDP growth of 2.3% in 2020 and a final quarter growth of 6.5%.
The successful year came after a contraction of 6.8% in the first quarter, the country’s first in 28 years.
By October, it had bounced back, with 637 million people traveling around the country to celebrate Golden Week, one of China’s largest holidays. Meanwhile, the US largely sacrificed Thanksgiving festivities for the sake of public safety.
Qiao warned that relations between the US and China could sour further in the future, hurting China’s growth, and highlighted the need for collaboration in reducing China’s environmental impact.
The economist also pointed out several risk factors including China’s aging population, its investment-driven growth model, and high levels of debt relative to its GDP.
Experts told Business Insider in July that China’s potential real output was much higher than other economies at around 6%. However, their predictions of economic contraction ultimately did not ring true.
According to the International Monetary Fund, China overtook the US as the world’s largest economy in 2014 as measured using purchasing-power-adjusted figures. However, it has still not overtaken the US in raw terms.
Data from Standard Chartered Bank suggested the takeover would happen in 2020, but the US continues to be the world’s largest economy.
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