In the first week of December 2014, a projection of gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates by Goldman Sachs that showed India's pace of economic growth might soon surpass China's prompted a flurry of news stories.
The real story is how far behind India is - China's GDP is about $9 trillion while India's is $1.8 trillion.
Even slower growth for China off such a high base will keep China ahead of India for another century or two.
In a recent paper, the economists Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett project what the gains to the global economy would be if China and India continued to grow at their current pace.
Before pointing out that even fast-growing developing countries see growth eventually slow to something closer to the global mean, they calculate faster growth would mean a net gain of $56 trillion by 2033 for global GDP.
China's share of that additional growth amounts to a staggering $51 trillion and India's $5 trillion.
This is a theoretical exercise since it is highly unlikely China can grow at the torrid pace it has for the past couple of decades.
Nevertheless, the numbers underline the advantage of having such a gigantic base to grow off.
Image: Laborers work on a topiary tree sculpture of a dragon at the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, China.
Image courtesy: Reuters
Text: Rahul Jacob, Business Standard