BEIJING — China’s GDP growth in the third quarter should be viewed on a reasonable basis, as the economy is running on a stable track boosted by new growth drivers, an economist said.
The 6.9-percent growth in the third quarter of 2015 is in line with China’s growth target for the whole year, which is around 7-percent growth, said Du Feilun, an economist with the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner.
Although the data was lower than the 7-percent growth in the first half of the year, and also marked the first time the quarterly growth rate had dropped under 7 percent since the second quarter of 2009, it is still within the reasonable range of market expectations, said Du.
Major economic indicators, including employment and prices, all show positive trends of stability.
A total of 10.66 million new jobs were created in urban areas in the first three quarters, fulfilling the government annual goal of 10 million in advance.
The slight slump in consumer inflation, which posted a 1.4-percent year-on-year growth in the first three quarters, is still under the government’s control, Du said, citing consumption is increasing steadily as residential income grew faster than GDP.
Sales of consumer goods have been picking up for six months in a row and registered the highest growth rate so far this year in September.
Sales of commercial houses, and related commodities such as home appliances, building materials and furniture are all gaining momentum during the past nine months.
New growth engines are driving China’s economy ahead, Du said.
The service sector’s role in the economy is strengthening, with its output taking up 51.4 percent of the GDP in the first nine months, up 1.9 percentage points from the first half of the year.
During the period, the high-tech sector reported 10.4 percent growth in value-added output, 4.2 percentage points higher than the figure for the overall industrial output.
Investment and consumption demand are still huge, as China strives to promote industrialization and urbanization, Du said.
The integration of Internet Plus strategy and new technologies will bring about more upgrading opportunities for consumption structure. Demands for education, tourism, entertainment and health care will be on a constant rise, Du said.
As domestic economy faces downward pressure and global financial markets fluctuate, the Chinese government has been rolling out supportive policies to establish a sound financial environment for restructuring and steady growth of the economy.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, has cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for all financial institutions five times in the past nine months, and axed the benchmark interest rates six times since last year.
The PBOC also vowed to continue with the fine tuning of monetary policies, and implement various tools to provide adequate liquidity and ensure market stability.
The annual growth target of around 7 percent will most likely be accomplished thanks to solid policy support, Du said.