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China through 2020 : a macroeconomic scenario (Английский)

This paper sketches a macroeconomic scenario for China for 2010-20. The growth accounting exercise finds that, with both the working population and total factor productivity on course to decelerate, potential gross domestic product (GDP) growth is likely to moderate in the coming 10 years, despite still sizeable capital deepening. Actual GDP should grow broadly as fast as potential GDP, continuing the track record since the late 1990s. With some rebalancing expected, the share of consumption in GDP is likely to bottom out and to rise somewhat through 2015 while the share of investment edges down. Robust economic growth in China will support imports. Meanwhile, given the outlook for the world economy, the share of exports in GDP may decline in 2010-2015 despite good competitiveness. As a result, the trade surplus may diminish relative to the size of China's economy. Even so, the external surplus will continue to rise in US dollar terms, especially the current account. In 2020 China's GDP per capita will be broadly comparable to the current level in Latin America, Turkey, and Malaysia. Adjusted for purchasing power, in 2020 China's GDP per capita will be one-fourth of the US level and China's total economy larger than that of the US. The pace of catch up in current prices and market exchange rates will depend on the extent of real exchange rate (RER) appreciation. Past experience internationally suggests that, with a large portion of labor employed in agriculture, RER appreciation may be modest in the coming decade. However, demographic changes may speed up the tightening of the labor market and trend RER appreciation. Reflecting this uncertainty, two scenarios are presented, suggesting China may become the largest economy on this metric sometime between 2020 and 2030.

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