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More measures to support economic growth in pipeline

Liu Yukun/Wang Yanfei
Updated: Jan 9,2019 8:42 AM     China Daily

More measures to bolster economic growth are expected to be rolled out as challenges endure, according to a senior official and analysts.

China is capable of achieving its economic growth target of 6.5 percent with the economic aggregate reaching 90 trillion yuan ($13.13 trillion) in 2018, Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said in an interview on Jan 7.

Speaking ahead of the publication of official statistics data on Jan 21, Ning said overall economic performance remains healthy amid external challenges that may have hampered growth.

China’s economic growth pace has been one of the fastest among major economies, Ning said.

Amid external challenges, official data indicating that China’s total economic output grew by 6.9 percent in 2017 to more than 82 trillion yuan, and is expected to reach 90 trillion yuan in 2018, contributing to nearly one-third of global growth, according to Ning.

China’s gross domestic product expanded 6.7 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2018 to about 65.09 trillion yuan, official data showed.

Amid lingering worries about the economy and market concerns over persisting trade tensions with the United States, the growth pace in the first three quarters has been in line with market expectations and higher than the government’s annual growth target of around 6.5 percent.

Experts and analysts expected the authorities to make greater efforts to stabilize the trend, strengthening policy support on both monetary and fiscal fronts.

The government has taken measures to tackle some of the structural problems in the economy. With these efforts taking effect, downward pressure is expected to be alleviated, according to forecasts by Bank of Communications.

“This year it is possible we will see more policies coming out to encourage consumer spending, as China is likely to rely more on consumption than investment and exports,” said Yang Cuihong, deputy chief at Center for Forecasting Science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The country has already seen tax cuts for individuals and preferential policies to support consumer spending on electric-powered vehicles, travel, farm products, and many other areas.

“Looking ahead, there might be measures to bridge the income gap between urban and rural citizens, although the latter has less pressure of housing and education, and enjoys more disposable income,” Yang said.

She added that senior care and medical services will offer new momentum to drive consumption.