CKGSB Knowledge Authors

China’s GDP: The Big Number

January 21, 2015

In 2014, China’s GDP grew at 7.4%, the slowest in the last 24 years. A look at China’s GDP as a proportion of global GDP over the years.

China’s GDP (gross domestic product), and the rate at which it changes, is one of China’s most closely-watched statistics; the base from which so many economic and business decisions are made. The breakneck growth in GDP that China has achieved in the past three decades has often reached double digits and continues to define perceptions of its role and status in the world. But as the economy now slows, there is hand-wringing over the government’s target of annual GDP growth, and how it can be sustained.

Nonetheless, China is now the world’s largest economy according to the IMF when measure by purchasing power parity (the US represents 16% of the global economy). This is not the first time the country has been in this position–China has had a huge share of the world’s GDP from time immemorial, probably peaking in the early 19th century. However it still lags behind in other measures, and extending the fruits of this re-emergence to the Chinese people is now of the government’s main challenges.