China’s transition into a domestic demand driven economy has kicked off with the government announcing long-awaited reforms, but it is missing a key element — an indicator to measure the success of the plan.
Long considered the ‘factory of the world’, China has a vast population that works in factories that produce everything from consumer and electronic goods to clothes, technology equipment and trinkets of everyday value.
Accordingly, its achievements are measured by economic indicators like exports, industrial production, gross domestic product and trade surplus, among others.
But while it grew at double digit rates, the income gap between the rich and poor also steadily went north, leading to social unrest and general dissatisfaction among the masses.
That prompted Premier Li Keqiang’s government to push for more supportive, pro-growth initiatives, such as pushing lending to small businesses and agriculture, and increased investment in affordable housing for poor families.