Economic might

ECONOMIC MIGHT…. This little tidbit from the new Pew Research Center survey stood out for me.

While isolationism and unilateralism reached four-decade highs among the public, the stature of China increased.

Among Americans polled, 44 percent said China was the world’s leading economic power compared with 27 percent who named the United States. In February 2008, 41 percent said the U.S. was the leading economic power, while 30 percent said China.

China is, to be sure, an economic powerhouse. Just as important, it’s economic growth is astounding.

But it’s easy to forget sometimes just how huge the American economy is.

The United States’ GDP is about $14 trillion. That’s more than Japan’s ($4.9 trillion), China’s ($4.4 trillion) and Germany’s ($3.7 trillion) — the next three largest economies on the planet — combined.

Based on estimates from the International Monetary Fund, over the next five years, China’s GDP is expected to grow considerably faster than America’s, but by 2014, the U.S. economy is still expected to be double the size of China’s.

There’s a lot more the U.S. can and should do to position itself for the future, and it’s going to take some real leadership (and perhaps a majority-rule Senate) to protect the country’s global leadership role.

But is China the world’s leading economic power? Not yet, it’s not.