This year may see a role reversal. Heather Stewart of The Observer says "at least we've got one up on the Yanks" -
For the first time since Queen Victoria was on the throne and Britain still had an Empire, average living standards are now higher on this side of the Atlantic.
New calculations by consultancy Oxford Economics show that GDP will reach £23,500 per person in the UK in 2008, beating £23,250 in the US, and also topping the levels in both Germany and France by 8 per cent.
Those figures are not adjusted for purchasing power and partly reflect the strength of the pound/weakness of the dollar. Nonetheless, Britons have a reason to feel chuffed, if not cock-a-hoop.
Note: The title of this post is swiped from a classic 1986 Journal of Economic History paper by Moses Abramovitz.