China Economist and Business Planners' Roundtable: The Global and China Outlook for 2023 and Beyond
The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 

China Economist and Business Planners' Roundtable: The Global and China Outlook for 2023 and Beyond

January 09, 2023 | Report

Executive Summary

The China Center’s annual Economist and Business Planners’ Roundtable is an exclusive convening for China Center members to discuss and debate key economic assumptions for the year ahead and into the medium term. The objective of the forum is to collectively derive a set of assumptions on the macro drivers of MNC opportunity and risk in the China market as a function of economic trends and policy influences. 

Key questions for the 2022 session were:

  • Will we see the US and the EU economies falling into recession in 2023? How will the US monetary policy affect China’s economy?
  • Which sectors will lead China economic growth to rebound in 2023?
  • What business planning assumptions make sense given current economic and policy directions in China and externally?

Insights for What’s Ahead

  • The global economy is on a downward trend, driven by high inflation, tighter labor markets, mild recessions in developed economies, weakness in China’s growth, and economic scarring in emerging economies. Global growth is expected go down from a forecasted 3.3 percent in 2022 to 2.1 percent in 2023.
  • Emerging economies will be the main contributors to global growth in the near-term, but the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a long-term ‘scarring’ effect on their growth outlook. In particular for several emerging economies in Asia, the deaths caused by the pandemic have exacerbated the shrinking in their working-age population due to rapidly aging demographics. This, together with an increase in poverty levels (see this note by the Asian Development Bank) has contributed to a deterioration in their productivity potential.
  • While China has started exiting its ‘zero-COVID’ approach, this will not immediately lead to a rebooting of its economy. Examples of other Asian economies that have shifted away from this approach suggests that it would take around four months before China’s economic activity normalizes. But in China’s case, its economy is also being impacted by the downturn of its property sector, a weakening job market, and a slowdown in external demand.
  • Despite the increasingly challenging operating landscape, multinationals in China see opportunities in niche areas. These include the development of the country’s commercial pension market for asset management companies; the increasing popularity of new energy vehicles for automakers; and the modernization, refurbishment, and repurposing of assets for real estate firms.
  • A key downside risk going forward is growing miscommunication and mistrust between China and western countries. According to one of our panelists, the gap between international perceptions and what is happening on the ground in China has never been wider, and the problem is that this gap continues widening. Against this backdrop, multinationals can and should play a positive role in bridging these gaps.



Head of the China Center
The Conference Board