Half of Americans see China as world's No. 1 economy

By Dmitry Rashnitsov  |  Feb. 22, 2016 at 2:43 PM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A Gallup poll shows half of Americans think China is the world's top economic power, though economic reports show otherwise.

For the first time in the nearly two-decade-long history of the Gallup World Affairs survey, the majority of Americans picked another country -- not their own -- when asked what country they considered the top economic power. Only 37 percent of the random sample of 1,021 adults said that America was the global economic leader.

More than 44 percent of the participants in the study predicted that the United States would surpass China and once again be the leading economy in the world, and that it would happen in the next 20 years.

But economic reports out of China, known to usually mask problems and overstate growth, nonetheless dispute the perceptions in the United States.

Chinease leaders announced last Friday that trade exports in January fell 11 percent from the previous year and that the country had its largest-ever trade surplus on record.

After record-breaking growth over several years, the Chinese economy slowed in 2015, growing just 6.9 percent, according to official reports, the lowest in 25 years.

The per capita GDP in the United States was $55,904 in 2015, compared to $8,280 in China.

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