Business / Economy

China opens key economic meeting to plan for 2015

(Xinhua/ Updated: 2014-12-09 13:58

BEIJING - The Central Economic Work Conference opened on Tuesday, during which Chinese leaders are expected to review the country's economic work in 2014 and map out plans for 2015 based on the economic "new normal."

The Chinese economy was faced with notable downward pressure in 2014, but overall, the country has achieved steady progress in economic and social development.

In the first three quarters, the world's second-largest economy expanded 7.4 percent year-on-year, urban employment rose, consumer inflation and credit growth remained stable, and major macroeconomic indicators were all within a proper range.

Official economic data also point to steady development of the Chinese economy.

In the first three quarters of this year, final consumption overtook investment as the biggest driver of the economy and contributed 48.5 percent of China's economic growth, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

In the three quarters, the service sector remained the largest part of China's GDP, accounting for about 46.7 percent, 2.5 percentage points higher than that of the industrial sector.

In the nine months ending September, growth rates of high-tech and equipment manufacturing industries, at 12.3 percent and 11.1 percent respectively, were higher than that of the industrial sector's average, indicating progress in restructuring and industrial upgrading.

In the nine months, energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped by 4.6 percent from a year earlier and carbon emissions were down by 5 percent, official data showed.

Analysts say there are also some strong headwinds for the Chinese economy in 2015, including deceleration of investment growth, financing constraints, and difficulties in the real economy. The risk of downward pressure for the economy cannot be ignored.

Last week, a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee said in a statement that China would focus on boosting economic growth quality and efficiency in 2015 and stick to the theme of seeking progress while maintaining stability.

China will actively adapt to the economic "new normal," keep economic growth within a reasonable range and emphasize economic restructuring, the statement said.

To ensure continuous and healthy economic growth as well as social harmony and stability, the country will work to make reform breakthroughs, pursue innovation-driven growth, boost risk controls and guarantee people's livelihood, according to the statement.

It is important to ensure the economy runs well in 2015, as it is the final year of China's 12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015) for economic and social development, a crucial year for deepening reforms, and the first year of promoting rule of law, it said.

Analysts maintain that continuous recovery of the world economy in 2015, the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, and accelerating restructuring and reforms all bode well for China to grow at a moderate-to-high-speed pace.

It is widely believed that China will stick to an overall strategy of stable and consistent macroeconomic policies, flexible micro policies and supportive social policies in 2015.

The Chinese government will focus its work on cultivating new growth points, boosting overall regional growth, improving people's livelihood, and continuing with its economic system reforms, analysts say.

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