Futuribles Journal n° 419

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique

Chinese Slowdown: Toward Crisis or Rebalancing?

In this spring of 2017, we have on several occasions seen rather optimistic commentaries on an economic upturn in China, where annual growth is again edging toward the 7% mark. And yet the last three years have actually been a time of Chinese economic slowdown. After holding up well in the global crisis of the late 2000s, China’s economy has been marking time. What are the actual prospects for economic development in the mid- and long-term?

Going beyond short-term assessments, Jean-Raphaël Chaponnière offers a retrospective of China’s return to the world economy, its adaptation to the market economy, its engines of growth (labour, consumption, investment) and the current limits these face. He shows how China has confronted the crisis, responding to the slowdown of its activity with a number of re-balancings (towards its internal market, among other things) and a transformation of its production structure. Lastly, drawing on various available analyses and a number of recently observed facts and findings, Chaponnière outlines the prospects for the possible development of the Chinese economy, asking how the various engines of economic activity will perform; whether it will experience a financial crisis (and what the consequences of such a crisis might be); whether it will become the leading global power and, if so, on the basis of what economic model.

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