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China remains major stabilizer of world economy

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-04-18 08:39
An employee checks gear products at a machinery company in Yantai, Shandong province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING - It's reassuring to the world that China's economy has managed to maintain its steady growth and will continue to serve as a major stabilizer for global growth.

The latest sign is that the world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019, the same reading as the fourth quarter of 2018, echoing the upbeat projections that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced earlier.

While the IMF downgraded 2019 global growth forecast by 0.2 percentage points last week, it revised its projection for China to 6.3 percent, up 0.1 percentage point from its previous estimation in January.

As Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department put it, China is expected to account for more than 30 percent of global growth this year.

The IMF's forecast is based on China's successful efforts to foster new driving forces of the economy, which could be better understood with a closer look at the latest data.

A relatively weak industrial output in the first two months triggered concerns about a loss of momentum. However, the manufacturing sector bucked the trend of slowdown in March. The country's industrial output in March reported a record-high since July 2014.

As the main driver of China's economic growth, consumption also picked up its growth momentum compared to the previous two months, contributing 65.1 percent to Q1 economic growth. Online retail sales and consumption in rural areas were robust. With tax cut measures to take effect in the following months, further consumption potential is to be unleashed.

Tax cuts will also give an extra boost to private and smaller businesses, along with other measures including cutting the social security fees paid by companies, which were announced during this year's annual session of China's top legislature.

Though it is tempting to release "flood-like" stimulus and achieve eye-catching economic growth, measures like tax cuts and fee reductions will provide a healthier and more sustainable recovery momentum.

As the Chinese government has set a target range of 6 to 6.5 percent economic growth for the whole year, it is unrealistic to expect a sharp rebound in China's economy in the short term.

Instead, an improved economic structure will generate steadier growth against the backdrop of a global slowdown. The world can be relieved that China is on the right track.

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