So what’s a few hundred billion dollars between friends?

China’s recent national economic survey has apparently found another 2.4 trillion yuan ($300bn) worth of output, equivalent to 17.5 pct of last year’s GDP, according to AFX.

If the revised figures are confirmed officially, the country will leapfrog Italy, France,and Britain to become the world’s fourth biggest economy.

The upwards revision in output is equivalent to 17.5 pct of last year’s GDP. Stephen Green, a Standard Chartered economist, said:

That is equivalent to finding Indonesia or Turkey hidden in the Xinjiang deserts. This is not an insubstantial event.

He said output in China is now equivalent to 18% of the US economy, and roughly 45% of Japan.

The revision has been forced on the government by the low credibility given to existing statistics which chronically underestimate China’s fast-growing services sector.

For a country that invented the abacus, its math skills have clearly slipped over the centuries.