Slowing China Still Added an Economy Bigger Than Australia's

(Bloomberg) -- While China’s economy last year grew at the slowest pace since 1990, the increase in output was still more than all the goods and services produced in Australia in 2017.

The value of China’s gross domestic product in current prices rose to $13.6 trillion last year, based on average exchange rates, compared with $12.2 trillion for 2017. That’s a difference of around $1.4 trillion, bigger than the size of Australia’s $1.3 trillion GDP.

There are caveats to the data: the $1.4 trillion difference is based on an initial estimate of 2018 GDP which is not final and could yet be subject to large revisions. China revised down its 2017 output last week by 636.7 billion yuan -- about the size of Slovakia’s economy.

It’s also the case that the average yuan exchange rate in 2018 was stronger than in 2017, boosting the dollar-denominated size.

Still, it’s a key point that observers often refer to: while China may be expanding by its slowest in decades, it is doing so from a much larger base. In 1990 the nominal value for China’s economy was $361 billion.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.