On Tuesday the National Bureau of Statistics of China released much-anticipated data for the country’s GDP growth. To virtually no one’s surprise, 2015 was reportedly subject to the Middle Kingdom’s lowest economic growth rate since 1990.
Specifically, China’s GDP grew 6.9% last year, a decline from the previous year’s 7.3%.
Interestingly, or perhaps suspiciously, results are pretty much as foretold by economists — previously, a Reuters poll of 50 economists came out with an average predicted forecast of 6.8%, and the slightly higher outcome is remarkably close to the growth goal of 7%.
Of course, predicting China’s official annual GDP growth is a piece of cake for experts — or anybody really. In the past 5 years, the yearly growth numbers have either met expectations or managed to exceed them by 0.1%. Leading many to look at China’s primary economic indicator with a tad of skepticism.
China GDP growth for 2015 is 6.9%. But it depends on what your definition of "is" is.
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) January 19, 2016
“The weaknesses in both domestic and external demand have exacerbated the deflationary pressures in the economy,” HSBC economists Qu Hongbin and Julia Wang posited, before the Bureau even released its data. “Going into 2016, weak domestic as well as external demand will continue to weigh on growth.”
Since freeing up its economy, China’s GDP growth rate had mostly ascended over the last 40 or so years, but in the last few years it’s become inevitably vulnerable to the Law of Large Numbers.
— Patrick McGee (@PatrickMcGee_) January 19, 2016
So it seems China’s GDP growth rate has fallen far from the dizzying heights of 15.2% in 1984. Over the next five years, planners are hoping for “medium-high economic growth,” but while economists continue to fret and frown, let’s just stay tuned for the next blast of implausible optimism from China’s millionaires.