I saw many news articles saying the Chinese economy is not in a good state, e.g. Banks cut 2023 GDP growth forecast from around 5.5 to 5. If the US economy grows by 5% it will be regarded as a “miracle”. So where is this “Chinese economy is not good” coming from?

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    $\begingroup$ Because it will collapse any day now. Source: The Economist 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, and others $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 12:22

3 Answers 3


The only time I read the word bad in the linked news article is refering to

The government has set a modest GDP growth target of around 5% for this year after badly missing its 2022 goal.

The Chinese economy is nowhere near as mature as the US economy (per capita income, factor productivities etc). A developing economy has a lot of room for improvements and growth. The Chinese economy grew around 8% to 10% for a long time. True, you cannot expect to grow like this forever, but cutting forecasts and lower expectations are still bad news, no matter at what level they happen.


China's economy was expected to grow by significantly more than 5%, so growing by 5% is "bad".

Per this source, China's economy was expected to grow by 8.8% in 2021. This number has of course changed for various reasons, e.g. Covid nuked economic growth, and the other factors alluded to in your source also cut into the growth rate. But it's still obviously better to have 8.8% growth than 5%, so the fact that China's economy is predicted to grow by 5% is "bad".

Comparatively, expectations for the US economy are for growth of about 2.5%, so actually getting 5% would be a miracle.


It's Okun's law

I am Chinese user, and I translate my answer use ChatGPT

Suppose we know that an economy has a natural rate of unemployment of 5%, but during an economic downturn, the unemployment rate rises to 7%. We want to know what impact this has on the country's actual GDP.

According to Okun's law, for each percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, the actual GDP will be about 2 percentage points lower than the potential GDP. So in this example, the unemployment rate is 2 percentage points higher than the natural rate of unemployment (7% - 5% = 2%), so the actual GDP will be 4 percentage points lower than the potential GDP.

If we know that the potential GDP of this country is 10 trillion dollars, then, according to Okun's law, due to the rise in the unemployment rate, this country's actual GDP would be 4% less than its potential GDP, which means it would be 400 billion dollars less. So, the actual GDP of this country during the recession should be 9.6 trillion dollars (10 trillion - 0.4 trillion = 9.6 trillion).

This example use the USA data, in China ,the rate will high than USA, so if China potential GDP is 5.5% up. and the actual GDP is 5%, the unemployment will high than excecption. but the USA potential GDP is 2.5%, so If USA GDP is 2.5% up, then will no new unemployment increase.


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