CHART: Putting China's growth 'slowdown' into perspective

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China’s economy is slowing, fanning fears among some investors about the outlook for the global economy.

These concerns are easy to understand, particularly given the nation’s high debt levels, ageing demographics and continued reliance upon its industrial sector to help underpin what the government deems as medium-high levels of economic growth.

However, sometimes the growth slowdown needs to be put into perspective, and this excellent chart from HSBC certainly does that.

As a refresher, Chinese GDP grew 6.9% in 2015, the slowest annual rate since 1990. In dollar terms, its GDP equated to around US$10.3 trillion, second only to the US in terms of absolute size.

The chart looks at the annual Chinese GDP growth going back to the year 2000, comparing it to the equivalent total GDP of other nations around the world.

In 2000 China’s economy grew faster than the total economic output of Ecuador over the entire year. Fast forward five years and it grew by more than the entire South African economy. Then, in 2011 during the height of the government’s unprecedented infrastructure stimulus spend, it grew by more than $1.4 trillion, larger than the entire Australian economy.

While Chinese GDP has slowed in recent years, increasing by just over US$800 billion in 2015, it’s hardly chicken feed. As HSBC points out, “China added the equivalent of Turkey to global GDP in 2015.”

Turkey, the 17th largest economy in the world according to the World Bank.

A stat that’s definitively worth remembering.

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