NDRC assures recovery to continue next year

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December 17, 2022 09:42 ChinaDaily

China‘s economy will continue to recover next year with the optimization of COVID-19 containment measures and stimulus policy measures gradually taking effect, the country’s top economic regulator said on Friday.

Given a more complicated and grimmer external environment and a cloudy global outlook, the National Development and Reform Commission said it will continuously implement stimulus policy measures, further expedite the financing of projects via policy-based and developmental financial instruments and speed up infrastructure construction.

More efforts will also be made to proactively expand effective investment, spur consumption in key fields and increase support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed households, the NDRC said in a statement.

The country has invested 739.9 billion yuan ($106 billion) via policy-based and developmental financial instruments, and over 2,700 projects backed by such financial tools have begun construction as of the end of November, the commission said.

During the first 11 months, the NDRC approved 106 key fixed-asset investment projects worth around 1.5 trillion yuan.

Highlighting the strong resilience and great potential of the Chinese economy, the NDRC said China’s economy will continuously pick up with the implementation of optimized COVID containment measures and stimulus policies taking effect.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China has maintained a recovery trend with steady growth in both industrial production and investment in November, while consumption remains weak amid COVID-19 outbreaks.

China’s value-added industrial output grew 2.2 percent year-on-year in November, while fixed-asset investment increased 5.3 percent in the January-November period.

Vice-Premier Liu He said China has great confidence that the economy will turn for the better as a whole next year.

The country has introduced policies and is mulling new measures to improve the asset and liability situation of the real-estate sector and boost market expectations and confidence, Liu said in a written speech delivered at the fifth EU-China CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue.

Liu added that China’s urbanization will still be on a relatively fast track for a period of time in the future, which means that there is enough demand to underpin the stable growth of the property sector.

Liu’s remarks came after the top leadership sent a clear signal to strongly boost market confidence and achieve an overall improvement in economic growth next year during a recent meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

According to recent forecasts by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the country’s economy is expected to grow around 5.1 percent in 2023 due to continued optimization of COVID containment measures and a relatively low comparison base.

Charlie Zheng, chief economist at Samoyed Cloud Technology Group Holdings Ltd, agreed that China will likely see an over 5 percent GDP growth in 2023, underpinned by a rebound in investment and consumption.

He said expanding domestic demand and boosting internal economic circulation hold the key to propping up growth, and more efforts should be made to increase the support for low-income groups and boost development of the private sector.

Zheng added that the country needs to implement detailed measures to improve basic public services, narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and better meet people’s growing and diversified demand for high-quality products and services.

NBS data showed China’s retail sales declined 0.1 percent year-on-year during January-November.

Wang Wei, director-general of the Institute of Market Economy at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said while consumption was severely affected by the pandemic this year, the optimization of the COVID containment measures and the government’s continued efforts to boost domestic demand will give a strong boost to consumption next year.

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