Chinese economy on track for strong, high-quality growth-Xinhua

Chinese economy on track for strong, high-quality growth

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-07-20 20:36:15

BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Positive signs spotted in the recent economic data released by the government indicate that China has maintained a steady momentum in economic recovery and is well on track for strong growth in the second half of the year.

The world's second largest economy grew 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2023, bringing the growth for the first half of the year (H1) to 5.5 percent. Both figures are higher than the 3 percent growth registered last year, demonstrating clearly an upward recovery trend. China has set a growth target of around 5 percent for 2023. The H1 economic performance placed China on a steady path to realizing the annual target.

Describing the 5.5-percent H1 growth as "high-valued," Fu Linghui, spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics, said that China's economic growth has supported global economic recovery, given that China was the fastest-growing economy among the world's major economies in H1. He added that such a performance did not come easily considering that the global economy was in the doldrums.

Pundits and experts who study the Chinese economy have largely viewed the 2023 half-year data with high regard, explaining that the data should be looked at through a holistic lens by also analyzing other important aspects of the economy such as quality of growth, optimization of economic structure, innovation, food and energy security, and people's income, among others, rather than merely focusing on the end-result growth rate figures.

Early this month, China's 20 millionth new energy vehicle (NEV) rolled off production line in Guangzhou, capital of the southern Guangdong Province. NEV output and sales both exceeded 3.7 million units in the first half of this year, each representing a year-on-year growth rate of more than 40 percent.

The booming NEV industry epitomizes China's impressive progress in green transition. Chinese customs data showed the total export value of China's three major tech-intensive green products -- solar batteries, lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles -- soared 61.6 percent year on year in H1.

The Chinese economy used to rely heavily on the secondary industry, but this structure has changed with both the services industry and the secondary industry now propelling the economy. The services sector's growth contributed more than 60 percent to the overall H1 economic growth.

Increasing signs are pointing to a stronger recovery in consumption as per capita disposable income continues to grow and the summer holiday sees more people traveling. Various scenic spots across the country have started to offer free or discounted entry tickets for some groups, such as students, to lure traffic.

The country's box office for the summer movie season is blossoming, too. Box office earnings from June 1 to July 16 set a new record compared to the earnings during the same period in past years.

In another sign of economic vitality, the nation's air transport sector has basically returned to the pre-COVID level of 2019. In the H1 of 2023, about 284 million air passenger trips were handled and 1.77 billion railway passenger trips made. The national railway network operated an average of 9,311 trains daily during the same period, up 11.4 percent over the same period in 2019.

Despite adverse weather, China also realized another bumper summer grain harvest this year and its energy production continued growing in H1.

The International Monetary Fund said in a May report that China will continue to make a major contribution to the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region. It also raised its growth forecast for China to 5.2 percent for 2023, up by 0.8 percentage points from its previous forecast in October last year.

All these important indicators show that China is undoubtedly on a steady recovery path, even though challenges including weak global demand and a complicated external environment pose risks to recovery.

The Chinese government, with sufficient policy tools, is rolling out measures to promote the sustained recovery of the economy, including increasing the intensity of macro-policy regulation, expanding effective demand, strengthening and optimizing the real economy, and preventing and defusing risks in key areas.

For instance, the government, through subsidies, continues to encourage employers across the country to provide 1 million internships for unemployed youths aged from 16 to 24 this year. The government also plans to organize vocational training that will allow at least 15 million people to hone their job skills this year.

China's economy has strong resilience, great potential, and sufficient vitality. As Fu Linghui put it, after emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, China's economy has gradually entered a stage of restorative growth. "As the economic operation gradually returns to the normal track, the future will see the country gradually shift from restorative growth to expansionary growth."

For China naysayers who habitually exaggerate the weakness or fuel fear of derailment of the Chinese economy, Fu's prediction could be seen as an opposing view worthy of serious consideration.