Li pre­dicts eco­nomic ex­pan­sion to con­tinue

Premier tells re­gional lead­ers that Chi­nese fun­da­men­tals still sound

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHAO YI­NAN in Nay Pyi Taw and CHENMENGWEI in Beijing

Premier Li Ke­qiang’s first pub­lic fore­cast for the Chi­nese econ­omy in 2015 has of­fered lit­tle hope for a big stim­u­lus, nor dra­matic changes of macroe­co­nomic poli­cies from this year, ex­perts said.

Li said theChi­ne­seecon­omy will face rel­a­tively large down­ward pres­sure in 2015, and the gov­ern­ment will carry out fine-tun­ing of pol­icy at ap­pro­pri­ate times to en­sure a sound de­vel­op­ment.

Although the com­pli­cated glob­al­mar­ket has added to the down­ward pres­sure, the fun­da­men­tals of the Chi­nese econ­omy have not changed, Li told lead­ers from South­east Asian coun­tries, Ja­pan and South Korea at the 17th ASEAN-China, Ja­pan and the Repub­lic of Korea (10+3) lead­ers’ meet­ing in Nay Pyi Taw, Myan­mar, on Thurs­day.

He said the econ­omy still has lee­way, the po­ten­tial and re­silience to main­tain a sound and healthy ex­pan­sion. That is pos­si­ble as China is still in a crit­i­cal stage of ur­ban­iza­tion, in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and agri­cul­ture mod­ern­iza­tion, which could gen­er­ate con­sump­tion and in­vest­ment.

He said macroe­co­nomic poli­cies will be con­sis­tent and sta­ble, in­di­cat­ing no dra­matic changes, although fine-tun­ing is pos­si­ble at ap­pro­pri­ate times to make room to carry out re­forms.

Li also reaf­firmed that the Chi­nese econ­omy is ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing the growth tar­get of about 7.5 per­cent in 2014.

Ama­jor think tank in­China, the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of the State Coun­cil, said China’s an­nual growth tar­get will be around 7 per­cent in 2015, in line with econ­o­mists’ forecasts that the coun­try’s eco­nomic slow­down will con­tinue next year.

Chen Yulu, a mem­ber of the Peo­ple’s Bank of China’s mon­e­tary pol­icy com­mit­tee, said in a re­cent in­ter­view that China will not turn to a strong stim­u­lus as long as the econ­omy runs within a rea­son­able range, a term re­fer­ring to a growth rate around 7.5 per­cent in the Chi­nese con­text.

Chen said the gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to use mod­er­ate pro-growth poli­cies and con­tinue the fi­nan­cial re­forms that have al­ready been taken this year.

Hu Shaowei, head of the eco­nomic fore­cast­ing depart­ment of the State In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter, said the ag­ing so­ci­ety that weak­ens the de­mo­graphic div­i­dend and the slow­down of the ur­ban­iza­tion process are the two ma­jor fac­tors that will lead to the fore­see­able slower eco­nomic growth next year.

He said the ur­ban­iza­tion process, which reached more than 50 per­cent by 2013, will take much longer to go above 70 per­cent. Con­tact the writer at zhaoy­i­nan@chi­

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