China will overtake the US to become the world's biggest economy by 2028, five years earlier than previously forecast, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a report has found.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a UK-based think tank, said in its annual World Economic League Table released on Saturday that one of the impacts of the global health crisis as been "to redistribute economic momentum with Asia doing best and Europe worst".
China's "skilful management of the pandemic" and the long-term impact the pandemic will have on Western growth means China's "relative performance has improved."
"We now think that the Chinese economy in dollar terms will overtake the US economy in 2028, a full 5 years earlier than we thought last year," the report states.
It notes for instance that authorities reacted "vigorously" to the COVID-19 crisis, thus inflicting less damage on the economy. As a result, while most Western economies are expected to register negative growth for the year, China is forecast to record a 2 per cent growth rate.
It is then expected to grow by an annual 5.7 per cent between 2021-205 and 4.5 per cent annually from 2026 to 2030 and then 3.9 per cent the following five years.
In contrast, the US is projected to grow by an annual 1.9 per cent from 2022 to 2024 and then by 1.6 per cent following a "strong post-pandemic rebound" next year.
"For some time, an overarching theme of global economics has been the economic and soft power struggle between the United States and China. The Covid-19 pandemic and corresponding economic fallout have certainly tipped this rivalry in China’s favour," the report says.
The US is the world's most impacted country having lost more than 330,000 lives to the pandemic and recorded nearly 19 million infections since the beginning of the outbreak, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.