China Chart of the Week: The IMF's Falling Forecast for China

February 2, 2015

In April 2011, the IMF forecast the Chinese economy would grow at a yearly rate of 9.46% in 2015. That projection has now been cut by nearly one third (2.7 percentage points), with January's forecast for this year at 6.8%. The chart below shows that growth forecasts for both 2015 and 2016 have been consistently revised downward each year the World Economic Outlook was released since 2011.

IMF forecasts

A “back of the envelope” calculation tell us that, if the Chinese economy produces goods and services valued at $11 trillion, then a three percentage point reduction in GDP means $330 billion less will be produced than the IMF had expected just four years ago. That is more than the total yearly production of Greece.

Jan Zilinsky is a research analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Follow him on Twitter at @janzilinsky.



Great chart. Reveals how the IMF and a lot of the other consensus forcasts at the time were completely surpised by the current slowdown.

Andy Collier

It's also clear that politics plays a role in China forecasts for both the international agencies and the investment banks. They wait until the last moment to revise down their estimates for fear of upsetting Beijing.

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