The Chinese government revised its gross domestic product for 2007 upward to 25.73 trillion yuan, which is €2.8 trillion. The German economy – Europe's largest – only measured €2.49 trillion in 2008.
“Since unofficial economic activity in China is much bigger than in Germany, this probably happened a long time ago,” said Stephen Green from the Standard Chartered Bank in Shanghai.
But he also pointed out that the overall size of a country's GDP was less important than a nation's per capital income as a measure of prosperity. In 2007, Germany with its 82 million inhabitants was ranked 23 in the world, whereas China's population of 1.3 billion came in at 132.