Shanghai’s mayor shifts focus away from GDP

Rob Schmitz Jan 26, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Shanghai’s mayor shifts focus away from GDP

Rob Schmitz Jan 26, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong announced he’s not going to target a specific gross domestic product growth rate this year. It’s a statement that seems out of place in a country that’s grown so rapidly over the last few decades, but growth in China is slowing down.  

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Marketplace’s China correspondent Rob Schmitz to get some context.

“It was really surreal to hear the mayor of China’s wealthiest city start a speech off by saying, ‘We’re not too concerned about GDP,'” Schmitz says. “For the past couple of decades GDP growth has been the be-all, end-all obsession for China’s government.”

According to Schmitz, there’s much more to the health of the Chinese economy than just GDP numbers. Chinese officials were so eager to boost GDP that they didn’t care how the numbers were achieved. “Up until now, a lot of government spending has been inefficient and wasteful, only benefiting the rich and the powerful,” Schmitz says.

But slower growth doesn’t mean no growth.

“It’s important to remember here that China’s economy is not imploding,” Schmitz says. “We’re still looking at growth here of above 7 percent … Making this 7 percent go further for everyone in China is what the government now seems to be focused on.”

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.