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Global Growth – Still Made in China

NEW HAVEN – Despite all the hand-wringing over the vaunted China slowdown, the Chinese economy remains the single largest contributor to world GDP growth. For a global economy limping along at stall speed – and most likely unable to withstand a significant shock without toppling into renewed recession – that contribution is all the more important.

A few numbers bear this out. If Chinese GDP growth reaches 6.7% in 2016 – in line with the government’s official target and only slightly above the International Monetary Fund’s latest prediction (6.6%) – China would account for 1.2 percentage points of world GDP growth. With the IMF currently expecting only 3.1% global growth this year, China would contribute nearly 39% of the total.

That share dwarfs the contribution of other major economies. For example, while the United States is widely praised for a solid recovery, its GDP is expected to grow by just 2.2% in 2016 – enough to contribute just 0.3 percentage points to overall world GDP growth, or only about one-fourth of the contribution made by China.

A sclerotic European economy is expected to add a mere 0.2 percentage points to world growth, and Japan not even 0.1 percentage point. China’s contribution to global growth is, in fact, 50% larger than the combined 0.8-percentage-point contribution likely to be made by all of the so-called advanced economies.