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Beijing Is Ceding The Economic Race As Growth Slows

By Tyler Durden

By George Lei, Bloomberg Markets Live reporter and strategist

Forecasts for China’s 2023 and 2024 economic growth have been slashed on Wall Street over the past few weeks. The world’s second-largest economy now risks missing Beijing’s own growth target for a second straight year and could expand at a sub-5% pace for three years in a row — something unheard of since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976.

Stalling growth will surely have longer-term geopolitical implications. Odds are stacked against President Xi, who pledged last year to make China a “medium-developed country” by 2035. That’s also the time when China could dethrone the US to become the world’s No. 1 economy, if the stars are aligned. Such a prospect, however, looks increasingly out of reach given the current trajectories.

China’s strong growth and subsequent currency appreciation meant the country’s output, measured in dollars, has grown much faster than the US for over two decades. The nation’s GDP was around $1.2 trillion at the turn of the century, less than one-eighth of the US. Its share of US GDP climbed toward 70% in 2020 and topped 72% in 2021. That was comparable with Japan, whose dollar-denominated output reached almost 73% of US levels in 1995, before embarking on a downtrend ever since.

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