Visualizing China's rise

 •  Filed under China, International economics, Own charts
  • In PPP terms, the Chinese economy is now larger than America's.
  • In early 1980s, the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa produced more goods and services than China. By 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 3.1 percent of global GDP. China accounted for 17.2 percent.
  • China could soon account for one fourth of all global output:

G-2: What if we counted the U.S. and China together?

In 2015, advanced economies accounted for 42.4 percent of global GDP.

The major advanced economies (G-7 members), still dominated the global economy, accounted for 31.6 percent of all production.

Now let's set the U.S. economy aside, and imagine there is a G-2 coalition: tallying up the GDP of all advanced economies except for the U.S. would give us 26.5 percent in 2015. The G-2 would account for 33.1 percent of the global economy:

China vs. India: Nominal GDP

One way to visualize China's amazing growth performance is to show how total GDP evolved since 1980 and compare its growth path to another large economy:

Why would nominal growth be worth looking at? Arthur R. Kroeber explains: "to measure China’s impact on the world in a given year, it is better to look at its nominal growth—that is, not adjusted for inflation—in terms of the international currency, the US dollar ... because nominal US-dollar figures better show the impact that Chinese demand has on the revenues of international companies, both in volume terms (buying more stuff) and in price terms (pushing up the prices of the stuff it buys)."

China vs. India: Real growth

Alternatively, we can look at real GDP growth in per capita terms from a fixed date. Pick 1980; India's economy great more than eightfold in the last 35 years. China's economy is now almost 26 times larger than it was in 1980:

Finally, what we took 2000 as the baseline year?

China grew by 295% in real terms since 2000, compared to India's 185%:

Data: IMF WEO (October 2015). Chart: Jan Zilinsky