The economic crisis, though more impactful in some places, hit the world at large nearly six years ago. Since then, various economies have been struggling to rise back up to previous levels of prosperity; and in some cases, have continued to fall. In the U.S., we are finally seeing progress—the stock markets are back up, housing is recovering, unemployment is going down, and slowly but surely, things seem to be getting better.

Shanghai Skyline in China

Shanghai Skyline in China.
IMG: via Shutterstock

In Europe, it’s a similar story—though not all economies there have recovered. But many are on their way.

“A number of countries in Europe have returned to growth and we will see growth for the European Union as a whole in 2014,” said Moody’s Ray McDaniel, according to Xinhuanet News. “There is definitely growth… in the United States. I feel positive about what’s happening in the U.S.”

Even China, whose position in the world economy is in constant competition with the U.S.’s, has a need for economic reform. Since 2009, debt has risen from 168% of the GDP all the way up to 216%, with some speculation that it could reach 271% by 2017 if no changes are made. The rise is in part attributed to the rise of a practice called “shadow banking,” or non-banks lending money instead of banks.

China has recognized the problem, however, and is working to correct it. It recently rolled out an economic reform package in hopes of combatting the rising debt, slowing (but still healthy) GDP, shadowbanking, and overcapacity problems. Tao Wang, a Chinese economist, says that the government is focusing in large part “on re-employment of people laid off from industries with overcapacity,” in order to avoid any social unrest it could create.

For now, Moody’s says China is still in a stable place. “China is in a strong position, and has good growth in GDP. We are not expecting there to be any turmoil or financial market turbulence. So our view on China is very positive,” says McDaniel.