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China Growth Tracker

Dariana Tani  - March 2015

The China Growth Tracker is designed to provide a graphical snapshot of the very latest Chinese economic data.

Speed Read
  • China’s GDP expanded 7.4% in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 7.7% in the same quarter last year.
  • Leading indicators signalled strong economic growth, with the Li Keqiang Index rising to 158 in January.
  • Consumer demand remained high, with passenger car sales rising at an annual rate of 10.4% in January.
  • Total exports, however, registered a year-on-year fall of 3.3% in January compared to 9.7% in December.

GDP Growth

Annual Real GDP Growth 1961-2014
Data for the last 50 years shows near continuous strong growth in the Chinese economy.

Quarterly Real GDP Growth Q1 2008 – Q3 2014 

Leading & Composite Indicators 
OECD Composite Leading Indicator
The (CLI) is designed “to provide early signals of turning points between expansions and slowdowns of economic activity” The CLI for China uses the following components: Production of chemical fertilizer (tonnes), monetary aggregate m2 (Renminbi). Production of manufactured crude steel (tonnes), 5000 Industrial Enterprises Diffusion Index, Overseas order level (%), buildings (m2), Production of motor vehicles (number), and the Shanghai Stock Exchange Turnover (Renminbi).

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for China includes total loans issued by financial institutions, 5000 Industry Enterprises Diffusion Index (raw materials supply index), official manufacturing PMI Supplier deliveries sub-indices, Consumer Expectations Index, Total floor space started, and official manufacturing PMI Export orders sub-indice.

World Economics China Sales Managers’ Index
The China Sales Managers’ Index brings together the collective wisdom of Sales Managers throughout China to produce the earliest source of understanding about what’s really happening in the Chinese economy.

World Economics 'Li Keqiang' Index
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying that he preferred to use a range of direct indicators of economic activity (as opposed to GDP) when assessing economic growth (See The Economist, Dec 9th, 2010). His top three were electricity consumption, rail cargo volume and bank lending.

CEMAC-GS Leading Index
The (China) Leading Index is a joint development between The China Economic Monitoring Centre (CEMAC/NBS) and Goldman Sachs Asia (GS) for the monitoring of national economic performance. The components of the Index include: Industrial production, investment in fixed assets, retail sales, imports and exports, revenues, profits of industry, residential disposable income, financial loans, M2 money supply, CPI and the business cycle signal index.

Consumer Indexes 

IPSOS Consumer Assesment
The IPSOS Global @dvisor: uses a monthly sample of over 18,000 adults worldwide.

Nielsen Quarterly Consumer Confidence Survey
The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Confidence Survey, established in 2005, tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 consumers in 56 countries.

Consumer Demand

Total Retail Sales

Chinese consumers continue to spend more on retail goods.

Car Sales
The Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers compiles statistics on the domestic sales of passenger cars.

Industrial Indexes 
Business Surveys

NBS Purchasing Managers Indices (PMI)

Combined PMI
This combined PMI is created from the NBS PMI’s, weighted by manufacturing and non-manufacturing in the Chinese economy.

Industrial Production


Chinese Total Exports


Electricity Consumption

Electricity Generation


Steel Production
Steel & Cement are two of the largest components in new construction. With construction accounting for such a large proportion of Chinese industry, these indexes are a useful indicator of new growth both in the construction industry.

Cement Production

The China Growth Tracker: Note to Users
Use of these data should be made in the recognition that World Economics shall not have any liability for these data or bear any responsibility for any actions taken based on these data, and in no event shall be liable for damages of any sort arising from use of these data.

World Economics will update the monitor on a regular basis as further data becomes available.

See  for updates


Long term GDP, World Bank, National Bureau of Statistics

Short term GDP, National Bureau of Statistics


Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI), Conference Board

World Economics China Sales Managers’ Index, World Economics

Li Keqiang (Rail Volumes), National Bureau of Statistics

Li Keqiang (Electricity), National Energy Administration

Li Keqiang (Bank Lending), People’s Bank of China

CEMAC-GS Leading Index

IPSOS Consumer Assessment, IPSOS

Nielsen Consumer Confidence, Nielsen

Total Retail Sales, National Bureau of Statistics

Car Sales, CAAM

NBS Purchasing Managers Indices (PMI)

Industrial Production

Chinese Total Exports
Electricity Consumption

Electricity Generation

Crude Steel & Cement, National Bureau of Statistics

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