Plenty of room seen for monetary easing, stimulus to bolster growth

By OUYANG SHIJIA and ZHOU LANXU (China Daily) 10:24, September 12, 2022

A worker cuts a steel part at the construction site of the T3B terminal project of Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport in Southwest China's Chongqing, July 11, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has ample room for monetary easing and strong fiscal stimulus, which will help the nation to achieve solid growth for the full year, experts said.

They also said the country should pay more attention to deepening reform and opening-up and unleashing the potential of the structural drivers of China's growth in the long run.

Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the nation's top political advisory body, said that while macroeconomic adjustments such as fiscal and monetary policy support will help stabilize the economy and deal with short-term downward pressures, the ultimate impetus for growth will come from tapping structural growth drivers.

He called for more efforts to develop metropolitan areas and city clusters, improve the efficiency of basic industries, expand the middle-income group, augment capabilities in basic research and development and boost the digital economy and green development.

"If we can fully unleash the potential through reforms, it's possible to maintain a growth rate of 5 percent or even 5.5 percent for the next five to 10 years," he said while addressing the Forum on Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of government-sponsored Chinese students in the UK on Friday.

The comments came as China's consumer and producer inflation grew less than expected in August, giving policymakers some leeway to step up macro policy support for the slowing economy.

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 2.5 percent year-on-year in August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, following a 2.7 percent rise in the previous month.

China's producer price index, which gauges factory-gate prices, increased 2.3 percent year-on-year in August-the lowest level in 18 months and slower than the 4.2 percent rise of the previous month.

Experts expected consumer inflation to continue to rise modestly and producer inflation to trend downward in the following month, saying that China will likely meet its consumer inflation target of around 3 percent in 2022.

Considering the gradual recovery of domestic demand, an overall balance between pork supply and demand, the normalization of China's logistics and industrial and supply chains, and the government's effective measures to ensure stable prices and supplies, Zhou Maohua, an analyst at China Everbright Bank, said prices will likely rise mildly in the remainder of the year. This will allow more room for policy easing to expand domestic demand and stabilize growth, Zhou said.

With China's producer price index easing on the back of lower energy and commodity prices, Zhou expects to see the PPI continue to trend downward in the following months, which will help ease input cost pressures for midstream and downstream manufacturing enterprises and reduce imported inflation pressures.

China's broad money supply, or M2, stood at 259.51 trillion yuan ($37.5 trillion) by the end of August, up 12.2 percent from a year ago, indicating an accommodative monetary condition to support the economy, data from the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, showed on Friday.

China's new yuan-denominated loans totaled 1.25 trillion yuan in August, up 39 billion yuan year-on-year, according to the central bank.

Zhou from China Everbright Bank, noting that the latest data point to improvement in the financing demand of the real economy, called for more efforts to consolidate economic recovery.

Looking ahead, experts said there is plenty of room for fiscal and monetary policies, and the country has various policy tools in hand to stimulate the slowing economy.

Yang Haiping, a researcher at the Central University of Finance and Economics' Institute of Securities and Futures, said there is still room for further reductions in the reserve requirement ratio and interest rates.

Citing a series of stimulus policy measures announced since mid-2022, Zhou said the economy will likely rebound notably in the third and fourth quarters with the normalization of economic activities and policies taking effect.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Bianji)


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