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  April 15th, 2015 | Written by

China, India Projected to Close International Economic Gap With U.S.

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  • USDA released projections on world's largest economies in 2030
  • U.S. and China projected to be in virtual dead heat
  • India predicted to jump to No. 3 while Europe expected to falter

A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected the largest economies in the world in 2030 and to the surprise of no one the U.S. and China are projected to be exactly where they are today; nos. one and two.

Well, not exactly where they are today. Though the Chinese economy is second ranked on earth it is presently just a bit more than half the size of the U.S. economy. But by 2030 the USDA projects that gap will have all but disappeared, the two economies predicted to be separated by a couple trillion dollars which is a lot of money if you’re shopping at outlet malls but chump change when you’re talking about international economics.

Those projected numbers caused a bit of a ruckus in the Global Trade offices with some—editor Patrick Dooley—predicting the Chinese will be even closer or will have passed the U.S. in 15 years because Chinese trade is not burdened by the type of crushing regulation that has chased many American manufacturers overseas. Others—me—countered that China’s wild west approach will end up poisoning it, figuratively and literally, witnessed by the fact that one of the country’s growth industries is cleaning up its other growth industries, not to mention its rather spotty record in adhering to international trade law which, I guess, we just mentioned.

Bank On India

While that’s an argument that doesn’t figured to be settled until Patrick apologizes for being so wrong, the list does offer some things that seem utterly inevitable, i.e. India.

Currently the world’s eighth ranked economy is projected to pass the likes of Germany and Japan to take firm hold of the third spot. It’s not like people didn’t see this coming though perhaps not so quickly. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted India would become number three but that it would happen around 2050. Of course, that was before the Indian economy went into hyper-drive accelerating to 7.4 percent projected growth this year after experiencing 6.9 percent growth last year, many crediting that growth to reforms set in place by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including a streamlining of regulations—stop smirking Dooley.

European Trip

As inevitable as India ascension seems to be so does the fall or at least plateauing of Europe. While the USDA projects four European countries to be in the top 10 by 2030 (France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) only Germany is placed in the top five, with the other three bunched toward the bottom.

Russia is placed 10th and it just goes to show how unreliable these projections can sometime be. It was just five years ago that several such lists predicted the Russians would be firmly entrenched at the number four spot. As we know, a lot can, and did, change in those five years.