China remains confident of meeting growth target of 7.5%
Statistics bureau says world’s second largest economy shows signs of stabilisation
Chinese president Xi Jinping (right) and Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong (second left) attend a trade meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, yesterday. Photograph: How Hwee Young/Reuters
China will meet its 7.5 per cent growth target for this year, despite fears it would fall short. The world’s second largest economy is showing clear signs of stabilisation, helped by policy support and some improvement in global demand, according to the state statistics bureau.
“I do have confidence in China’s economy,” National Bureau of Statistics spokesman Sheng Laiyun told a foreign ministry news briefing yesterday.
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 7.6 per cent in the first half of 2013, the weakest first-half performance in three years, but this was in line with market expectations, Mr Sheng told the briefing. “We are confident that the economy is sustaining the positive momentum in the second half and confident of meeting the economic growth target.”
The Chinese government has unveiled a number of policies to cope with downward pressure and has created room for further economic rebalancing efforts.
“The economy is showing some positive changes. Signs of growth stabilisation are becoming more obvious,” he added. Beijing has said it is willing to tolerate slower economic growth as it pushes reforms designed to reduce pollution, social inequity and overreliance on debt-financed construction and infrastructure projects, as well as exports.
According to the latest data released by the NBS in July, industrial-added value increased 9.7 per cent year on year, with the growth rate up 0.8 percentage points from June, indicating a growing confidence in Chinese enterprises.
“The debt is under control,” Mr Sheng said, a clear reference to global concern about China’s slowing confidence and fears that local government debt is rising out of whack with the rest of the economy.
An audit conducted in 2011 by the National Audit Office found that local government debt totalled 10.7 trillion yuan (€1.31 trillion) at the end of 2010, more than 26 per cent of GDP, Xinhua reported.
The government has taken measures to help support industry, such as getting rid of some taxes for small firms and boosting investment in infrastructure and railways.
There were signs in recent forward-looking indicators that the economy was stabilising in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, industrial production grew at its fastest rate since the start of the year in July, data showed, and trade data has also been very positive.