How China's economy has evolved, in charts

Neelabh Chaturvedi
The huge billboard of the late patriarch Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China's economic reform program, takes center stage at a busy intersection in Shenzhen, southern China's special economic zone (SEZ). The billboard commemorates Deng's famous 1992 tour of southern China's econo
Peter Lim | AFP | Getty Images

One of the greatest economic success stories in modern history is starting to take an unpleasant turn.

Figures due on Tuesday will likely show China's economy expanded by 6.9 percent in 2015, a respectable number by global standards but the slowest pace of expansion in China since 1990.

The slowdown in the world's second largest economy, coupled with gyrations in the yuan and China's stock markets, has cast a pall on global commodity prices and unnerved investors from Tokyo to New York.

The somewhat clumsy response by policymakers to stem the market panic has undermined investors' confidence that authorities can continue to steer China's economic transformation.

While doubts over the authenticity of Chinese data have persisted for years (and have been magnified more recently), the sheer scale of that metamorphosis is still huge.

Following the wave of reforms introduced in the early 90s, foreign direct investments surged, millions were lifted out of poverty and China's foreign exchange reserves have ballooned to the largest in the world (although currency market interventions more recently have led to a sharp decline).

The services sector has gained in prominence at the expense of industry, which drove economic growth in the early part of China's blistering growth, and internet growth soared, creating a number of technology heavyweights in the process.

Here's a look at how China's economy evolved since 1992, when former leader Deng Xiaoping went on a trip to Southern China to promote economic reforms.

Source: World Bank

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