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China Overtakes Italy as World's Sixth Biggest Economy(01/07/02)
China has snatched the sixth place from Italy in the table of the world's top economic powers, the Bloomberg news agency reported on Monday.

Over the 12-month period ending in September 2001, Italy's GDP was 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars, Bloomberg said, noting that this was less than the 1.2 trillion dollars cited by China's central statistics office in a press report Monday.

Chinese authorities were quoted in a top national daily as forecasting gross domestic product for 2001 at 9,580 billion yuan (1.2 trillion dollars).

Because the period referred to by Chinese officials (January- December 2001) was different to the statistics for Italy, some doubt remained over whether China had actually overtaken Italy.

If the Bloomberg rankings are confirmed, Italy will slip to the seventh place in the table of economic powers, behind China and France which share fifth place. The top four are the United States, Japan, Germany and Britain.

China, which recently joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has averaged GDP growth of 8.3 percent in the last five years. Italy's average growth has been under 3 percent.

 
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