China is apparently aiming for a 6% economic growth rate in 2021, according to her Premier Li Keqiang. This is a significant recovery, especially given the serious near 7% reduction in Q1 of 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
Interestingly, this 6% is well below the IMF’s predicted 8% growth for China in 2021, even if it does come from a low base.
When comparing this to the UK, the distance apart is not as great as one might expect. The UK’s GDP is estimated to grow by 4% in 2021 and over 7% in 2022, averaging gout at 5.5%.
Against this backdrop, given the common perception of China as the workshop or factory of the world, it is interesting that China still regards the achievement of being a manufacturing nation of greatness still some 30 years away.
Part of China’s ‘hesitance’ lies in their reliance on high tec products like US semiconductors and China’s belief that core technologies currently lie outside China.
Whilst China produces a very significant level of consumer and industrial products, its manufacturing output as a share of the economy has fallen, accounting in 2020 for just over 25% of GDP, its lowest levels since 2012.