Local economist: growing Chinese economy could benefit U.S. - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local economist: growing Chinese economy could benefit U.S.

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- China's economy is catching up to the United States'.

In a report issued this month by the University of Pennsylvania's World Table Index Chinese GDP is expected to overtake American Gross Domestic Product, making China the world's biggest economy, by 2017 at the latest.

But Steven Durlauf, a Professor of Economics at the UW-Madison, said Americans need not worry.

"In thinking about the wealth of a society one doesn't care, necessarily, about total GDP," he said. "You care about GDP per capita."

"If you look at GDP per capita today, it's about 9.5 or 10 times higher in the U.S. than in China," Durlauf said.

He added a stronger Chinese economy could also provide direct benefits to the U.S.

"In thinking about trade deficits, the more Chinese consumers there are of American goods, and the more income capacity for those consumers, the better that is for America," Durlauf said.

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