Robust Chinese economy seen chugging forward

08:51, September 16, 2010      

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Laborers work at a construction site in Shanghai. Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics, said on Wednesday it would be a "satisfactory result" if the Chinese economy can grow by 10 percent and keep the rate of inflation at around 3 percent this year. Aly Song / Reuters

The economy will be on a good footing if it achieves a growth rate of 10 percent this year and the inflation rate is around 3 percent, the nation's top statistician said on Wednesday.

Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics, made the remarks at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of New Champions in Tianjin.

"We should not be too worried about the speed of (China's) economic growth. It is more important for us to accelerate the transformation of the nation's economic development pattern, enhance the rates of resources utilization efficiency and protect the environment," he said, adding that more efforts should be put on economic restructuring and transforming the nation's economic growth model.

The bureau will create a scientific system of statistical indicators to guide governments at all levels, industries and companies to transform the development pattern.

He said statistical data should "truly and accurately" reflect the process of the transformation.

Economists have forecast that the Chinese economy would expand by about 10 percent year-on-year this year as growthslowed to 10.3 percent in the second quarter from 11.9 percent in the first.

Based on the current economic scenario, the monetary policy should return to neutral and reasonable levels, said Xia Bin, an economist with the State Council's Development Research Center.

Xia said growth expectations need to be moderately adjusted downwards to ensure growth is sustainable. "China cannot enjoy the same double-digit growth rates of 2003 to 2007 and it would be tough for the nation to achieve double-digit growth in the coming years."

Consumer inflation is expected to be around 2.9 percent this year, well within the government's full-year target of 3 percent, said Li Daokui, an economist and member of the monetary policy committee of the People's Bank of China, the central bank.

Li said China must increase bank deposit rates to tackle inflation.

The one-year rate for deposits is 2.25 percent now while consumer price index, a major gauge of inflation, was 2.8 percent for the January-August period and jumped to 3.5 percent in August, a 22-month high, sparking market expectations of interest rate hikes.

A hike in the savings rate will not impact banks.

Someeconomists said China would keep the benchmark interest rates stable through this year on concerns of a possible economic slowdown.

Source: China Daily


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