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No need to panic about slowdown in China


09:08, July 19, 2012

The International Monetary Fund has revised down its projections for global economic growth for this year and 2013, indicating risks of a protracted global crisis.

Notably, China's economy, the second largest in the world, is slowing down, triggering fears that it will further drag down global growth. Some even speculate a looming hard landing of China's economy.

The fears, however, are ill-grounded as the slowdown is more of a result of Beijing's self-initiated efforts to restructure its economy and to shift its development model.

Latest official statistics showed that the Chinese economy expanded at a rate of 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, which was below 8 percent for the first time in three years and marked the sixth quarterly decline in a row.

Grim it may seem, there is no need to panic as the figure falls within the growth target set up at the beginning of the year.

In March, the Chinese government lowered its growth target for 2012 to an eight-year low of 7.5 percent. The aim was to allow space for corrective measures in order to shift away from its lopsided growth model toward a more balanced and sustainable one, with consumption contributing a larger share to growth.

It is worth noting that the slowdown in China's economy has been matched by easing inflationary pressure, which gives Beijing room to stimulate domestic demand.

If domestic demand can take hold for years to come, it will not only beef up China's abilities to fend off the protracted global financial crisis, but also give a welcome boost to the world economy.

In an update to the World Economic Outlook, the IMF spoke of multiple risks besetting global growth, among which the euro area has been identified as the major trigger of the world financial turmoil, given the lingering vicious circle between sovereign debt and banking crisis.

The United States also serves as a negative factor in the feeble global growth. As effects of stimulative measures wear thin, the world's largest economy may start to run out of steam, bringing about uncertainties for the whole world.

As economic woes in the euro area and the United States weigh heavily on the global economy, policymakers around the world should focus on more potent measures against them.


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