China accounted for nearly half of last year’s growth in total global premium income, according to Allianz Research. Out of the €150bn or so in additional premiums chalked up worldwide last year, almost €70bn is attributable to China. Initial projections by Allianz suggest that total global premium income rose to a new record high of €3,650bn last year. In a year-on-year comparison, the nominal increase, after adjustments to reflect foreign currency translation effects, comes to an estimated 4.4%. Without China, the insurance world would have achieved growth of only 2.7%. The "China effect" was particularly pronounced in the life insurance business, excluding the Chinese contribution more than halve the rate of global growth from a respectable 4.7% to 2.3%. This is due, for one thing, to the rapid development in China itself. 2016 saw the Chinese life insurance market report the highest rate of growth seen since 2008, at over 30%. Secondly, this Chinese dominance can be attributed to the slump in the life insurance markets elsewhere. In Western Europe, premium income is expected to have dropped by 1.2% overall in 2016, the first negative trend seen since 2012. The markets also contracted in parts of Eastern Europe and Australia last year.