Chinese economy under spotlight at APEC meetings

2014-11-08 03:53:04 GMT2014-11-08 11:53:04(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- When Beijing is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, a slowing Chinese economy is under spotlight amid concerns of its impact on global growth.

With growth in the world's second-largest economy further sliding to 7.3 percent in the third quarter from 7.5 percent in the second quarter, there have been worries that the slowdown could be one of the biggest challenges to the global and regional economies given China's giant size in terms of economic power in the Asia-Pacific region.

But the majority of analysts believe that the Chinese economy is still within the "proper growth range" as it embraces a "new normal" with a low-level inflation rate, steady employment, and improving economic structure.

Yu Bin, a researcher with the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council, said that the so-called "new normal" is an equilibrium stage when the economy shifts to a medium-high level of growth from high-level growth. It was caused by the peaking as well as readjustment of some industries including energies, raw materials, and the real estate.

A recent World Bank report said that moderation of China's growth has reflected policy efforts to rebalance the economy as the country works to implement reforms supporting more sustainable growth.

"Policy efforts to tighten credit growth, reduce excess capacity, internalize the cost of industrial pollution, and harden budget constraints of local governments intensified in 2014. These policies are welcome and will help put growth on a more sustainable path," said Karlis Smits, a senior economist with the World Bank.

Lu Zhongyuan, a DRC researcher, held that when observing the Chinese economy, it is important to put more emphasis on structural changes rather than on the slight fluctuations of the growth speed.

Latest official figures revealed that China's growth pattern is shifting towards a more sustainable path. China's service sector is growing rapidly and generating more jobs. Despite a slowdown in the economic growth, China's job market has proved resilient.

In the first nine months, 10.82 million new jobs were created, 160,000 more than a year ago. The new jobs exceeded the government's full-year target of at least 10 million new jobs this year, according to data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Meanwhile, consumption is playing an increasingly important role in driving China's growth. In the first three quarters, consumption's contribution to GDP growth stood at 48.5 percent, 7 percentage points higher than investment.

Yu said that the targeted economic control measures and the nation's deepening reforms will further translate into growth momentum.

He Weiwen, a researcher with the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said the APEC members accounted for 57 percent of the world's total economic output. The meeting is expected to formulate policies at the macro-level among the APEC members, which is critical to regional growth as well as global sustainable and balanced growth, He said.

"The meeting came in the middle of the disappointing global growth picture, and can provide confidence in improving global economic growth outlook," said World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati during a recent interview with Xinhua.

China and other emerging markets are playing an increasingly important role in the world. China is in the process of reforms, which will deliver a "much stronger message" for the global economy, especially the Asia-Pacific economy, to perform well to beat pessimism, she said.

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