China / Society

Li delivers boost for the economy

By Li Xiaokun and Mo Jingxi (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-09 03:25

It is running within a proper range, but nation must not underestimate the challenges it faces, premier says

China's economy is "running within a proper range" and merits full confidence for its fundamentals, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday, adding that the nation should not underestimate the challenges confronting it.

Li's remarks, made at a State Council departmental meeting, follow forecasts by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund of slightly slower growth in China for the rest of this year and in 2015.

The premier said, "Our country's economy is generally running within a proper range, with the effects of reform continuously being fulfilled and new momentum for growth being formed.

"Still, there is great pressure on the domestic and international economic situations."

On Monday, the World Bank forecast that economic growth in China will ease slightly to 7.4 percent this year and to 7.2 percent in 2015 as the central government seeks to put the economy on a more sustainable path with policies addressing financial vulnerabilities and structural constraints.

On Tuesday, the IMF estimated that China's economic growth will slow to 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter of this year and to 7.1 percent in 2015 as the country "makes the transition to a more sustainable path".

China set a growth target of around 7.5 percent for this year, while Li has said that a figure a little higher or lower than the target is reasonable.

The economy expanded by 7.4 percent year-on-year in the first half. The Bank of China forecast on Sept 25 that the economy will grow by 7.3 percent in the third quarter, limited by increasing downward pressure and a high base a year ago.

Li said on Wednesday the government should keep domestic economic growth at a "medium to high rate" through precise macro-control efforts, reforms, structural adjustment and increasing people's livelihoods.

He also submitted a series of measures to reach this goal, such as pushing forward price reforms in fields including non-basic public services, resources and environmental protection.

A group of "major projects" will be launched before the end of the year in areas such as water resources, environmental protection and information networks, Li said.

Wang Jun, an analyst at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a government think tank, said: "The figure for this year won't be too far from the target of 7.5 percent. There is no need to panic or adopt short-term policies to stimulate economic growth.

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Jack Freifelder in New York contributed to this story.

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