UTC+8 ( BJT)

China's economy to recover further, no target specified

With the steady progress achieved in China’s national economic recovery in the past three quarters, especially with a 4.9% on-year growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter, the trend is expected to persist in the last quarter, Liu Aihua, spokesperson of the country’s National Bureau of Statistics shared at a press conference on October 19.

Liu, however, declined from specifying a GDP growth for 2020 when queried at the press conference on whether she agreed on the 1.9% on-year growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund or a 2.5-3% growth estimated by the other institutions. 

“Such forecasts illustrate their confidence in China’s economy. Recoveries have been confirmed at both the demand and supply side by various degrees, so the trend is rather obvious. However, uncertainties remain in the global economy and trade because of the unpredictability in the pandemic,” she said.

“Some or many indicators in China’s economy have yet returned to the positive zone, and the cumulative data in some sectors still posted declines (up to September), so while we have had the basis and chances for the steady recovery… uncertainties are loitering both at home and abroad,” she elaborated.

China's GDP grew 0.7% on year over January-September against a 1.6% on-year decline for the first half of 2020, as reported.

Among the positive factors, in Q4, China’s fixed asset investment will further expand from the 0.8% on-year growth over January-September, and the Chinese citizens’ consumption either in consumer goods or in services will be steadily recovering, according to her, highlighting that consumption contributed to the 1.7 percentage points of the total 4.9% on-year growth in China’s Q3 GDP, indicating that the domestic demand had been gradually reclaiming its lost ground in the contribution.

The government will be striving to increase the citizens’ income and to further optimize the consumption environment to boost the growth in the consumption sector, she said, acknowledging, though, that the country is still under relatively greater pressure of unemployment, as the rate for the 20-24 years age group reduced by 2.4 percentage points on month by the end of September, but it was still 4 percentage points higher on year.

In the last quarter of 2020, the interior circulation in the country’s industrial chains will be improving further now that the clogs have been cleared and the capacity utilization in China’s industries will probably grow further from the 76.7% on average for the third quarter, which went up 2.3 percentage points from that for Q2, and the rate in the auto manufacturing, for example, grew faster by 3 percentage points from that in the second quarter, Liu added.

As for foreign trade, Liu corrected the misunderstanding that trade surplus up to September had been a result of less imports, instead, both the imports and exports have and will continue to grow because of better economy and demand in China, which has not only been China but has also been acting as  a positive force in the global economic growth.

In September, for example, China’s foreign trade grew 8.7% on year and imports up 11.6% on year, she pointed out.

Written by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com