Page last updated at 20:31 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

China's economy leapfrogs Germany

A Chinese farmer transports his produce.
Many Chinese people have not benefited from the boom

The Chinese government has increased its estimate of how much the economy grew during 2007.

The revision means China's economy overtook Germany's to become the world's third largest in 2007.

Gross domestic product expanded 13%, up from an earlier estimate of 11.9%, to 25.7 trillion yuan ($3.5 trillion).

The figures underscore China's emergence as an economic superpower, although the country's growth rate is expected to have dropped to 9% in 2008.

China's government is taking measures to try and ease the slowdown.

The government has launched a 4 trillion yuan ($586bn) stimulus package and has promised measures to help struggling exporters and vehicle and steel makers.

Individually, most of China's more than one billion people remain poor.

Germany's GDP per person was $38,800 in 2007 compared with $2,800 in China, which has wide disparities between rich and poor.

China's economy has grown tenfold in the past 30 years.

Merrill Lynch economist Ting Lu predicted that it will overtake Japan as the world's second largest economy in "only three or four years".

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