Business / Economy

Experts call for measures to boost investor confidence

By Wang Yanfei ( Updated: 2016-04-27 16:26

Economists and industrial analysts attending a recent high level forum have called for measures to boost investment so as to maintain economic growth seen in the first quarter.

"Many indicators we have been worried about picked up in the first quarter, while some of the risk factors posing a threat to the economy have eased," said Ma Xiaohe, deputy head of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, a research institute under the National Development and Reform Commission.

Ma, who was speaking at the China New Normal Development Forum held on Saturday, said GDP growth of 6.7 percent recorded in the first quarter was "a remarkable achievement", despite it being the slowest rate of growth since 2009.

His remarks came after official data released earlier this month indicated an easing of the recent slump in the investment, export and housing markets.

"Efforts such as cutting housing inventory have paid off," said Ma.

However, structural problems identified within the nation's economy point to the need for more measures to be taken to boost investor confidence, according to Zheng Xinli, deputy director of the China Center for International Economics Exchanges.

Zheng noted that private investment growth in the first quarter was 5.7 percent, 5 percent lower than total fixed asset investment.

"Government-led projects will not help that much if private investment falls far behind," said Zheng, adding that China needs to adopt a more proactive fiscal policy and further relax monetary policy, at a time when the leverage ratio was not as worrisome as some people might think.

"Some might think that too high an outstanding money supply, or M2, which accounted for 200 percent of GDP, is dangerous, but it does not necessarily point to inflation," said Zheng, noting that while the ratio of M2 over GDP in Japan is 35 percent higher than that in China, price levels in Japan have for years witnessed negative growth.

"We have to realize that the annual growth rate of M2, from 2011-14, fell seven percentage points compared to 20 years ago. What we really need is good projects to attract private investors."

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