Better help consumers do the heavy lifting
To turn domestic consumption into an engine powerful enough to make up for the slack of other growth drivers, lawmakers and policymakers should make full use of the ongoing session of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, to boost and meet consumers’ upgraded demand for quality goods and services.
The increasing importance of consumerled growth hasbecomemoremanifest than ever withPremier LiKeqiang announcing onMarch 5 that the country’s growth target for2016 is between6.5and7 percentand that for the yearsupto2020is 6.5onaverage. SinceChina’s twingrowth engines of exportsandfixed-asset investment are unlikely to deliver as much as they used to in the face of growing global headwinds and the economic transformation at home, only consumption-led growth has the potential to rise rapidly to keep the world’s second-largest economy on the track to achieve those growth goals.
China’s ascent as a global trading power since the turn of this century made double-digit export growth a key propeller for its GDP growth. But the failure of the world economy to rebound strongly from the 2008 global financial crisis has increasingly darkened the prospects for global trade growth.