The sixth-largest economy, India’s GDP growth was recently upwardly revised more than half a point to 7.3%
When Donald Trump, who is no stranger to Twitter hyperbole, describes a meeting with another world leader as “hopefully historic,” it’s hard not to consider it a case of damning with faint praise. But that’s the way he described his talks with Xi Jinping, China’s president, in Argentina at the G20 summit last week.
And no wonder. Days after the summit, what kind of trade truce the two superpowers actually struck seems to depend on which White House official you listen to, which Chinese state-controlled media outlet you read, or which way the wind is blowing. At best, it looks like the U.S. has agreed to withhold raising the tariff rate on US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports for 90 days while negotiators try to work out a longer-term deal. Hopefully.
In any event, investors who had been hoping for even a short-term respite from trade jitters — and the gathering storm of global economic gloom — didn’t get much of one from the G20. And until there’s clarity, worries over China’s economic growth won’t diminish.
The International Monetary Fund’s forecast for GDP growth this year — 6.6 per cent — will already be the lowest mark since 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization. If next year’s IMF projection — revised down to 6.2 per cent in October, in part thanks to the Trump tariffs — proves accurate, the China slowdown will be even more severe. From 2000 to 2014, China’s average annual growth was 9.6 per cent; from 2015 to 2019, the average will be about 6.8 per cent.
With China slowing, where can the world turn in search of growth? Well, the mantle of fastest-growing big economy now rests squarely on the shoulders of India, which the IMF has dubbed “an elephant starting to run.”