White House Photo/Pete Souza

الصين لا تزال في الترتيب الثاني

كمبريدج ــ هذا الأسبوع، بشرت العناوين الرئيسية في مختلف أنحاء العالم بلحظة فاصلة بالنسبة للاقتصاد العالمي. وعلى حد تعبير صحيفة فاينانشال تايمز "تستعد الصين لتجاوز الولايات المتحدة باعتبارها القوة الاقتصادية الرائدة في العالم هذا العام". وهو تطور مفزع ــ هذا إن لم يكن هذا الزعم خاطئاً في الأساس. فالواقع أن الولايات المتحدة تظل صاحبة الاقتصاد الوطني الأكبر على مستوى العالم بفارق كبير.

استندت القصة إلى تقرير صادر عن برنامج المقارنات الدولية التابع للبنك الدولي في التاسع والعشرين من إبريل/نيسان. وكان عمل برنامج المقارنات الدولية عظيم القيمة. وأنا أنتظر كل ست سنوات بفارغ الصبر تقديراته الجديدة، وأستخدمها، بما في ذلك للاطلاع على موقف الصين.

تقارن بيانات برنامج المقارنات الدولية الناتج المحلي الإجمالي باستخدام أسعار صرف تعادل القوة الشرائية بدلاً من أسعار السوق. وهذا هو التصرف الواجب عندما ننظر إلى نصيب الفرد الحقيقي (المعدل وفقاً للتضخم) في الدخل لقياس مستويات معيشة الناس. ولكنه التصرف الخاطئ عندما ننظر إلى الدخل الوطني لقياس ثِقَل أي دولة في الاقتصاد العالمي.

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