Economics and markets

A likely China path: Lower but more sustainable growth

October 14, 2021

Qian Wang, Ph.D.

Chief Economist, Asia-Pacific, and Global Head of the Vanguard Capital Markets Model

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.
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