China economy vs UK compared – GDP ‘top priority’

UK economy delivers record growth in 2021 amid Covid rebound

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On Saturday China’s National People’s Congress session officially opened for this year, with the country’s Premier Li Keqiang stealing the headlines for his announcements on the state of Beijing’s economy. Among the targets revealed for 2022 he told observers that China would be targeting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of around 5.5 percent.

Mr Li said Chinese officials had agreed to the reduced rate of growth due to a doubtful global recovery from the Covid pandemic.

The politician added that a downturn in China’s large property sector cast a cloud on the world’s second-largest economy.

Meanwhile, a property downturn triggered by a Government campaign to control borrowing among highly indebted developers has also weighed on the economy.

According to the World Bank China has a GDP of $14.72 trillion (£11.13 trillion).

Mr Li told delegates: “We must make economic stability our top priority.

“The world economic recovery lacks drive, and commodity prices remain high and are prone to fluctuation.

“All of this is making our external environment increasingly volatile, grave and uncertain.”

During 2021, China’s GDP grew 8.1 percent, beating the Government’s target of more than six percent.

Analysts explained this was because of robust exports to economies hit by Covid and a low statistical base in 2020, when the pandemic began to spread worldwide.

Other financial targets agreed by China for this year include:

  • Targeting budget deficit at around 2.8 percent of GDP
  • Targeting Consumer Price Index (CPI) at around three percent
  • Raising Beijing’s defence spending by 7.1 percent in 2022

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How does China’s economy compare with the UK?

The UK’s economy is significantly smaller than China’s, standing at $2.76 trillion (£2.08 trillion).

However, this is to be expected considering both the size and population differences that exist between both nations.

Like China the UK’s economy also grew substantially in 2021 despite the effects of Covid.

GDP grew by 7.5 percent which represents the fastest annual growth rate since World War Two.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) ranked the UK as the fifth largest global economy heading into 2022 – second biggest in Europe behind Germany.

Looking ahead to the future, the firm’s World Economic League Table predicts that China will become the greatest global economy by 2031, overtaking the US.

In comparison the UK is estimated to drop one place from 2026 and be usurped by India.

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