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Difficulties remain for China’s economy after the 2017 rebound: experts

(People's Daily Online)    16:50, January 19, 2018

China’s economy rebounded in 2017 with a growth of 6.9 percent according to newly released official data, but China will face more difficulties from 2018, reported Thursday, citing experts at an economic forum.

Chinese financial and economic experts gathered Thursday in Beijing to discuss the economic trend at the Guoshi Forum, after an official report showed that China’s GDP reached 82 trillion RMB in 2017, an increase of 6.9 percent, picking up steam for the first time since 2010.

China’s economy grew with rebounding achievements in 2017 and rebounded for the very first time against the downward trend in the past five years, said Yao Jingyuan, former chief economist of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), adding that the steady progress has laid a solid foundation for China to transform its economy from high-speed growth to high-quality oriented growth.

Wa Zhe, a chief economist at National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the GDP growth is one of the phase achievements of China’s structural reform. The 2016 fiscal and monetary policies have borne fruit in 2017. In addition, strengthened regulations over finance, market, and local government bonds and the overall economic recovery also contributed to this delightful achievement.

The total volume of import and export reached 27 trillion RMB, seeing a 14.2 percent rise than that in the previous year. According to Zhang Jiandong from the Ministry of Commerce, foreign trade growth in 2017 cannot be separated from the supply-side structural reform and the growing competitiveness of China in foreign trade.

China still has more potential and space to enlarge its foreign trade, though the growth has been even harder since China entered into the new normal, said Zhang. The large number of countries along the route of the “Belt and Road” indicates more trade opportunities. Meanwhile, China has established a series of competitive brands and the nation’s free trade zones will help form a global FTZ network, through which foreign trade volume will be boosted.

Wan said China emphasized restructuring in its 2017 economic development, while consumption is and will remain a highlight of China’s economy.

The total retail sales of consumer goods reached over 36.6 trillion RMB in 2017, and consumption contributed to 58.8 percent to the economic growth, according to NBS data.

On the other hand, there are still difficulties to unleash the role of consumption in driving economic growth, said Wan.

The middle number of per capita disposable income among Chinese citizens in early 2016 fell under the per capita growth rate for the first time, which indicates that the income gap will grow and thus hinder further growth of consumption. Loans can push the boom of consumption, but healthy development requires governments’ scientific solutions. In addition, to upgrade consumption, the service quality also needs to be improved.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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