Forces of change: Chinese consumer spending in 2016

Tom Brennan (Alibaba Group)

Investors across the globe are watching China's slowing economy with more than a little concern, but consider this stat from management advisory firm Boston Consulting Group: Even if China's GDP growth slows to 5.5 percent, which is a full point below the 6.5 percent government target, the country's consumer economy will expand by more than half to $6.5 trillion in 2020 from $4.2 trillion in 2015.

"Despite a slowing economy, China will remain one of the world's fastest-growing consumer markets for the foreseeable future," BCG researchers concluded in a recent report titled The New China Playbook that was developed with AliResearch, Alibaba Group's research arm. Indeed, the incremental $2.3 trillion in annual consumer spending China is expected to add over the next five years is almost like tacking another Japanese consumer market onto the global economy, as the infographic below shows.