It seems is a hot topic in our days - Will China out perform United States by GDP in close future. I'm more skeptical than others, and I don't believe this will happen in next 10 years. After 10 years, who knows - maybe.
United States accounts about $15.8 trilion GDP in 2012, whilce China's GDP is about $8.227. Some opportunists have called year 2017, when China will surpass United States. Really? 2017? China will expand it's economy for another $8 trillions in next 5 years? Doesn't sound realistic.
IMF prognosis, which may and sometimes may not be the best source for forecast, shows that China's GDP in 2018 will be $ 13.76 trillion, while US GDP will reach $21.55 trillion, call me mad, but both figures seems non-realistic for me, if compared to today. But math's doesn't lies? Aren't it? By scenario if China will reach $13.76 trillions by end on 2018, China should need at least 7% GDP growth rate yearly. So if we believe that China's economy will continue to rise 7% yearly, then $13.76 trillion GDP is quite realistic. What about USA? It should see GDP growth yearly about 3%... Which again is quite realistic.
So let's make a chart:
Data in this chart are taken from IMF prognosis. According to data GDP nominal in USA 2012 was $16.244 trillions, while in China $8.221 trillions, making a difference $8.023 trillions.
In 2018 USA GDP would be equivalent to $21.556 trillions, while Chinese GDP is expected to be $13.76 trillions. Making a gap $7.796 trillions.
So I don't see any economical reason to see why China should out perform GDP of USA till 2017, or 2018.. I rather don't believe that this will happen at least till 2035-2040, if will happen at all.
Of-course, I cannot give a prognosis what will happen in next 5-10 years. It's pretty long time, much can happen, and data provided can be useless. But if sticking to given - from where the year 2017, that China will out perform US?