During a webinar last week, Ninety One global strategist Michael Power brought up the possibility of China shortly overtaking the US as the world’s largest economy. That might happen if the predictions of US GDP contracting by more than 30% in the second quarter come to pass. Even without that, there’s no doubt that China will stand out for its impressive recovery at a time when much of the world is enduring the worst economic slump in a century.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, China growing at about 2.5% would have been seen as a disaster for the most populous nation on earth, which in recent years had been growing at multiples of that to create more than 11-million jobs annually to absorb new entrants into the labour market. Its growth rate of 6.1% in 2019 was the slowest since 1992 and reflected its trade dispute with the US...

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