How China’s Economy Has Evolved, in Charts

One of the greatest economic success stories in modern history is starting to take an unpleasant turn.

Figures due on Tuesday will likely show China’s economy expanded by 6.9 percent in 2015, a respectable number by global standards but the slowest pace of expansion in China since 1990.

The slowdown in the world’s second largest economy, coupled with gyrations in the yuan and China’s stock markets, has cast a pall on global commodity prices and unnerved investors from Tokyo to New York.

The somewhat clumsy response by policymakers to stem the market panic has undermined investors’ confidence that authorities can continue to steer China’s economic transformation.

While doubts over the authenticity of Chinese data have persisted for years (and have been magnified more recently), the sheer scale of that metamorphosis is still huge.

Following the wave of reforms introduced in the early 90s, foreign direct investments surged, millions were lifted out of poverty and China’s foreign exchange reserves have ballooned to the largest in the world (although currency market interventions more recently have led to a sharp decline).

The services sector has gained in prominence at the expense of industry, which drove economic growth in the early part of China’s blistering growth, and internet growth soared, creating a number of technology heavyweights in the process.

Here’s a look at how China’s economy evolved since 1992, when former leader Deng Xiaoping went on a trip to Southern China to promote economic reforms.

CNBC

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Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.