China actually displaced Germany in 2007, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday. Bureau officials said China's economy actually grew 13 percent that year, not the 11.9 percent previously stated, The Financial Times reported.
The United States is the world's largest economy, followed by Japan.
"It is symbolically significant that China is now bigger than Germany and it will not be too long before its economy overtakes (that of) Japan," Mark Williams at Capital Economics in London told the British newspaper.
China forecasts its economy will forge ahead another 8 percent this year but the worldwide economic doldrums could make that difficult to achieve, many economists say.
Still, Goldman Sachs forecasts China will surpass even the United States by about 2040.