The economies of China and India are 40 per cent smaller than previously thought, according to new estimates published by the World Bank this week.
The ranking of 146 economies by buying power in US dollars was based on the prices of 1,000 goods and services in what the World Bank described as “the most extensive and thorough effort ever to measure purchasing power parity across countries”.
PPP, rather than market exchange rates, is regarded as a better measure of the relative cost of living, since it is based on goods and services households can buy with their domestic currency.
The new PPP estimates show a 40 per cent drop in the wealth of the Chinese people, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of world output. China remains the world’s second-largest economy but, in terms of per capita gross domestic product, it is only 9.8 per cent of the size of the US, according to the research.
Robert Zoellick, the World Bank’s preseident said he was “not drawing any policy conclusions” about the new estimates, which suggest that there are hundreds of millions more Chinese living on the World’s Bank’s poverty line of less than $1 a day.
佐利克表示：“在依据这些统计数据做出结论时，我们必须小心谨慎。”但他补充道，这些数据“可以帮助中国领导人完善其开发工作”。 ”We must be careful about drawing conclusions about poverty from these statistics”, he said but added that the figures ”could help Chinese leaders refine their development work.”
Nevertheless, if China is less wealthy than previously thought, it could mean that those US policymakers who regard it as a political and economic threat, can relax.
例如，美国政府问责局US Government Accountability Office今年曾利用旧的估算数据报告称，按照购买力平价计算的中国经济规模最早可能在2020年就会超过美国。中国经济规模的调整数据显示，中国的军事或经济实力还要过很多年才能与美国匹敌。
For example, the US Government Accountability Office using the old estimates, reported this year that China’s economy in PPP terms would be larger than the US by 2012. The recalibration of China’s economy suggests it will be many more years yet before China can rival the US in military or economic terms.
世界银行表示，中国经济规模的收缩，是因为过去根据可靠度较低数据进行的估算，夸大了中国经济规模。这是中国首次参与世界银行的国际比较计划International Comparison Program，也是印度自1985年以来首次参与这一计划。
The World Bank said the shrinking of China’s economy was due to exaggerated estimates based on less reliable data in the past. It was the first time that China had participated in the World Bank’s International Comparison Program and the first time since 1985 that India had participated.
India’s economy also shrank by 40 per cent, according to the the tables, which ranked it the world’s fourth largest economy, accounting for 4 per cent of output.