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China's economy picking up steam

Updated: 2012-11-26 15:50

After seven consecutive quarters of slow growth, a turnaround is under way

"Chinese economy is like a train without a locomotive, losing power all of a sudden and just gliding forward with inertia." This is how some Chinese people have described their economy over the past two years. Now the train is beginning to whistle. After seven quarters of slower-than-usual growth, a reversal appears under way.

According to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, industrial output started picking up in September and October, with a rise of 9.2 percent and 9.6 percent, against 8.6 percent in August.

The troika of economic growth - retail sale of consumer goods, foreign trade and fixed assets investment - are gaining steam. Stephen Green, an analyst at Standard Chartered Bank, said the Chinese economy is in a U-shaped recovery.

China's economy picking up steam

Customers pack into a crowded shopping mall in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province, Nov 10, 2012. [Photo /]

By now the possibility of a "hard landing" can be ruled out, which is undoubtedly good news for the global economy.

Although the improvement is moderate, the general curve shows a steady upturn, making economists optimistic about the future of the Chinese economy.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report on Nov 9 that the United States is expected to cede its place as the world's largest economy to China as early as 2016. The organization also says China's economy is likely to overtake the euro zone's this year.

The research institution Frost & Sullivan said China is set to become the world's largest economy by 2025, with a nominal GDP value of $38 trillion.

Turn steady

Zhang Ping, minister for the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a news conference on Nov 10 that the previous slowdown has been controlled since August.

According to Zhang, the slowdown was due to three major reasons. First, the government lowered its expectations for economic growth to 7.5 percent, which allowed for some leeway in plans to shift the direction of the country's economy.

Second, the international economic environment remains uncertain. Weak external demand has affected China's export-dependent economy.

Third, when external demand shrinks, some industries suffer from an excessive production capacity, a problem that can only be alleviated over time.

The Chinese government has made it a top priority to stabilize growth this year in order to cope with the above-mentioned issues, said Zhang.

This year, China's central bank lowered its benchmark interest rate twice. Since the second half last year, it cut the required reserve rate three times.

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