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Trump Faces China Economy That’s Changed Much in Eight Years

  • Growth engine shifts away from exports and toward consumers
  • Hallmarks are slowing expansion, falling currency, high debt
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A Different China Awaits Trump

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will confront a Chinese economy that is vastly bigger and more mature but less of a growth motor than the one faced by the last Republican administration. It’s also dealing with a host of new challenges.

Once driven by exports and investment, China’s growth model has shifted to depend more heavily on consumer spending and services. The government irked America for years by holding down its currency even as capital flooded in, and now it’s trying to cushion the yuan’s decline as capital flees. Gross domestic product has more than doubled over the past eight years, yet it’s now expanding at the slowest pace since 1990 and debt has reached levels some economists find alarming.