China Yuan
China's economy. Reuters

China is on track to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy while India has already moved ahead of Japan to become the third-largest economy, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Bank.

The report released the findings of the 2011 International Comparison Program, or ICP, which assesses economies based on purchasing power parity, or PPP, and noted that China’s Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, was nearly 87 percent of U.S. GDP in 2011 while India had moved up from being at 10th position in 2005. The world produced goods and services worth more than $90 trillion in 2011 and half of that output came from low- and middle-income countries, according to the report.

“The United States remained the world's largest economy, but it was closely followed by China when measured using PPPs. India was now the world's third-largest economy, moving ahead of Japan,” the ICP report said, according to CNBC, adding: “The results indicate that only a small number of economies have the greatest shares of world GDP. However, the shares of large economies such as China and India have more than doubled relative to that of the United States.”

China’s economy grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014, slowing down slightly from 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. But, its growth rate, like India's, has exceeded that of developed economies, helping the two Asian countries move up in the rankings. According to the ICP report, the six largest middle-income economies, including China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, accounted for 32.3 percent of world GDP in 2011, which was almost equal to the contribution of the six largest high-income economies such as the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, U.K. and Italy, which accounted for 32.9 percent of world GDP.

“The largest economies were not the richest, as shown in the ranking of GDP per capita. The middle-income economies with large economies also had large populations, setting the stage for continued growth,” the report said, according to The Economic Times.

According to a press statement released by the World Bank on the report, China’s investment expenditure stood at 27 percent while the U.S. stood at second position with 13 percent expenditure on investments. India’s investment expenditure stood at 7 percent while Japan’s was noted at 4 percent by ICP. However, some say the PPP is just one measure to judge the performance of the world's economies and that developing nations like India and China still have a lot of catching up to do.

"It is true that China and India are certainly very large in size," Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asia economic research at HSBC in Hong Kong said, according to CNBC, adding: "At the same time these [PPP] measures shouldn't be the be-all and end-all of international comparisons. When, for example, we measure international purchasing power expressed in dollars, which matters in international trade, the U.S., Europe and Japan continue to be the dominant economies in the world."