Business / Economy

Outlook beats world forecast

By LI YANG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-17 07:55

2015 to be marked by ongoing adjustments around the globe, vice-minister says

Outlook beats world forecast

Zhu Zhixin (left), vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Zhong Shan (center), vice-minister of commerce, attend the first weekly policy briefing of the State Council in Beijing on Friday. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

The Chinese economy will continue to rise steadily this year if restructuring can be implemented well to counter mounting downward pressure. But if risks appear, the authorities will take decisive action to keep it on track, according to the vice-minister of China's top economic policymaker on Thursday.

"The economy grew at about 7.4 percent last year, a hard-won result given so many unexpected uncertainties from home and abroad," said Zhu Zhixin, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, reviewing last year and evaluating prospects for 2015.

He spoke at a media briefing held by the Information Office of the State Council in Beijing.

Zhu said policymakers underestimated the weakness of the global recovery last year.

The World Bank recently lowered its forecast for global growth this year from 3.4 to 3 percent, and from 7.5 to 7.1 percent for China.

Though he made no prediction, Zhu cited the World Bank twice in his briefing to show how China stacks up in the larger picture of the world economy.

"The world economy will continue to stay in a deep adjustment period featuring geopolitical shifts, differentiation of the policies of major economies and stronger fluctuations of staple commodity prices.

External uncertainties will add to the difficulties, challenges and risks for the Chinese economy in 2015," Zhu said. "Stable, sustainable and quality growth will be the main objective."

The slowdown in growth was inevitable as the economy changed gears in the restructuring effort, Zhu said, adding that it's encouraging to see some positive change last year.

More than 13 million jobs were created, commodity prices grew by 2 percent-markedly lower than the 3.5 percent ceiling-and the annual average per capita disposable income grew about 8.2 percent year-on-year, faster than overall economic growth, he said.

To maintain the economy within a reasonable range this year, macro policies will remain stable, micro policies will become more flexible and social policies will focus more on serving the neediest, he said. "It is unrealistic to resort to large-scale investment to stimulate an economy as large as China's.

But investment, especially well-targeted investment in some key areas, such as innovation and infrastructure construction, remains a crucial tool to prevent the economy from falling out of a reasonable range," Zhu said, answering questions on whether China will save its economy with big spending. He said the economy is not entering a crisis.

"As long as the economy stays within the desirable range, we must focus more on transforming industrial and economic structures in an innovation-led, environmentally friendly direction," he said.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks