Economics and markets

A likely China path: Lower but more sustainable growth

October 14, 2021

Qian Wang's headshot

Vanguard Asia-Pacific chief economist

China's future is not a foregone conclusion
How China could become the world’s largest economy

1As measured by gross domestic product in U.S. dollars.

The figure is a line graph showing nominal GDP growth in millions of U.S. dollars from 1990 through 2050. The line for the United States trends higher from an actual level of about 6 trillion U.S. dollars in 1990 through a forecast of  about 60 trillion U.S. dollars in 2050. The line for China’s actual GDP starts at a very low level and trends higher to about 13 trillion U.S. dollars in late 2019. Three lines then show forecasts for China’s GDP from that point to 2050. The forecast that shows the least increase in GDP is based on a scenario of deglobalization and no reforms. Another forecast, our base case, shows GDP increasing to almost catch up with U.S. GDP by 2050, in a scenario of slowing global trade growth and gradual reforms. A third scenario of reglobalization and acceleration of reforms shows the greatest increase in GDP for China, which surpasses that of the United States around 2040.
China’s potential economic trajectories are myriad
Our outlook for China depends on the path it chooses
Vanguard Insights

Subscribe to Economics & markets.

Get timely analysis on the market, delivered straight to your inbox, as soon as we publish them.

Read our privacy policy to learn about how we keep personal information private.

Vanguard Insights

Thank you for subscribing to Economics & markets.

You'll be notified when new content is published, but will only ever receive one email a day from Vanguard Insights.

Vanguard logo

Vanguard is the trusted name in investing. Since our founding in 1975, we've put investors first.