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8 FOCUS PSI Journal 5/2016 www.psi-network.de CHINA AFTER THE GROWTH BOOM PROFITING FROM CHANGE With a growth rate of 6.9 per cent, 2015 marked a turnaround in the Chinese economy: The dark side of the industrial revolution is visible in all sectors and is inhibiting momentum. China seems to have arrived in the „new normality“. Together with 12 promotional product companies, we explore how the economic conditions in China have changed and how these processes impact production and imports. China: The growth engine is stuttering“ was the headline of the Handelsblatt mid-January. A month later, the FAZ carried the title „China‘s foreign trade is shrinking.“ These two main trends describe China‘s economy. More recent headlines are also causing people to sit up and take notice: In March, for instance, Spiegel online ran the story „China allegedly dismisses five million workers“. What has happened in the world’s second largest eco- nomy (after the US)? It has grown slower than at any time in the past 25 years: The rate of growth in 2015 was just under 7 per cent, a decline from previous doubledigit levels. Compared with the same period last year, exports fell in January 2016 by 6.6 per cent, imports by as much as 14.4 per cent. The structural change is hampering the economy; added to that are a shortage of skilled labour, rising wages and a shortage of capital. The industry is suffering, and the stock markets are tottering. GROWTH IS UNSUSTAINABLE It is rightly argued that in international terms China is still in a very good position with its current economic growth of 6.9 per cent. By comparison, the German economy grew by 1.7 per cent in 2015, meaning Germany fell back to an average level in a European context. This is a solid and steady growth, however, as is often read-

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