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China's Other Growth Figure Is Flashing a Warning

  • Contribution to world growth down to less than half 2013 level
  • Leadership gathering offers chance to address rising leverage
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China Stocks Rise on Stimulus Bets

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Obscured by the focus on the accuracy of China’s growth figures is a tumble in estimates for the economy without adjusting for inflation -- a slide that gives a clearer picture of why the country’s slowdown has stoked rising concern about its debt burden.

Gross domestic product in dollars, unadjusted for price changes, rose just 4.25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the same period of 2014 -- a gain of $439 billion. Just two years before, China added $1.1 trillion to the global economy, expanding 13 percent from a year earlier.