China ended the Year of Covid in many ways stronger than it started, accelerating its movement toward the center of a global economy long dominated by the U.S.

While the U.S. and Europe wait for vaccine rollouts to get fully back on track, China is the only major economy expected to report growth for 2020, helping it close the gap with the U.S.

It has expanded its role in global trade and shored up its position as the world’s factory floor, despite years of U.S. efforts to persuade companies to invest elsewhere. China’s consumer market—lifted by its quick recovery from Covid-19—keeps gaining momentum, making it a bigger driver of global companies’ earnings.

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