CHINA'S RAPID GROWTH MAY BE EXAGGERATED
It's getting hard even for the bulls to pretend something isn't off about China's breakneck growth story
Adelaide Now, June 30, 2012
ON the one hand, as everyone knows, China's GDP is said to have expanded by an incredible average 10 per cent per year for 30 years, according to the IMF, bringing millions of people out of poverty, and making it the second largest economy in the world behind the US.
On the other hand, much of this growth has been fuelled by investment - in innumerable highways, airports, apartment complexes, and trains - so much so that some experts say China's economy is not only imbalanced, but may actually be smaller than previously thought, due to waste and environmental destruction.
In fact, according to a new "Inclusive Wealth" index revealed by the United Nations at the Rio+20 conference this week, by some measures China's economy still trails Japan as the third largest in the world.
The UN's metric weighs economic growth against other factors, including environmental resources, and the value of "manufactured, human and natural capital stocks."
The top economy in the "Inclusive Wealth Index" is the US with $US118 trillion ($A117.90 trillion) in total wealth, followed by Japan with $55 trillion. Germany ranks nearly the same as China, with $20 trillion.
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