Con­sump­tion growth called key

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By WANG YANFEI wangyan­fei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Con­sump­tion is the ma­jor eco­nomic driver, show­ing the na­tion’s suc­cess in re­bal­anc­ing the econ­omy, but more ef­forts are needed to sus­tain growth, with height­ened pres­sure in sec­tors with over­ca­pac­ity, econ­o­mists said.

“China is on the right path of eco­nomic re­bal­anc­ing as con­sump­tion con­trib­utes a high pro­por­tion to eco­nomic growth, with both the struc­ture and qual­ity im­proved,” said Sheng Laiyun, spokesman for the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics, on Wed­nes­day.

Con­sump­tion contributed 71 per­cent of eco­nomic growth in the first three quar­ters, up by 13.3 per­cent­age points com­pared with the same pe­riod last year, NBS data showed on Wed­nes­day.

Re­tail sales of con­sumer goods grew by 10.4 per­cent year-on-year in the first three quar­ters, slightly higher than the 10.3 per­cent growth in the first half.

The growth was largely fu­eled by ris­ing con­sumer de­mand for au­to­mo­biles, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions prod­ucts, food, cloth­ing and other com­modi­ties, ac­cord­ing to Xie Yax­uan, chief econ­o­mist at China Mer­chants Se­cu­ri­ties Co.

In Septem­ber, con­sump­tion rose by 10.7 per­cent yearon-year, up by 0.1 per­cent­age point com­pared with last month and the high­est monthly growth this year.

Xie said he be­lieved con­sump­tion will con­tinue grow­ing, with de­mand for high­end prod­ucts ex­pected to in­crease. How­ever, he added, main­tain­ing growth mo­men­tum is cause for con­cern, since per­sonal in­come growth has been slow­ing.

Per capita dis­pos­able in­come in the first three quar­ters grew by 6.3 per­cent, down by 0.2 per­cent­age points from the first half of the year.

Al­though slower in­come growth is a nat­u­ral re­sult of eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing as the na­tion deals with over­ca­pac­ity, it shows how the la­bor mar­ket is fac­ing height­ened pres­sure, said Zhao Xi­jun, an eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sor at Ren­min Univer­sity of China.

Niu Li, di­rec­tor of macro­eco­nomics at the State In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter, said the govern­ment needs to help cre­ate more jobs. “That can be quite chal­leng­ing at a time when de­mand for in­vest­ment, de­spite some signs of an uptick, has yet to sta­bi­lize,” he said.

HU GUOLIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Cus­tomers shop for veg­eta­bles in a su­per­mar­ket in Ji­u­jiang, Jiangxi prov­ince, on Fri­day.

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