Good start made in the first quarter, but downward pressure still exists, meeting told
China’s leaders called on Friday for more targeted efforts to address some of the key challenges to maintaining stable economic growth this year.
Top leaders at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, presided over by President Xi Jinping, said that the economy had achieved a good start in the first quarter, while downward pressure still exists.
In the first quarter, China’s economy saw 6.7 percent year-on-year growth, still within the 6.5-7 percent range which is the pre-set growth target for this year.
To meet the target, leaders attending the meeting said that it is important to step up supply-side reforms, push forward urbanization, and implement targeted policies to address structural and regional problems affecting the world’s second-largest economy.
The Political Bureau is the top decision-making body of the CPC.
Niu Li, director of macroeconomics at the State Information Center, said the meeting set the tone for handling economic challenges and focused on some specific issues that need to be highlighted in the next two months.
“Even though some of the worrisome indicators posing a threat to the economy have picked up in the first quarter, there are still many structural problems that need to be solved,” said Niu. “Economic performance in the next quarter is quite crucial – we don’t have to worry too much about the services sector, which is well capable of sustaining good performance, but structural problems, such as those in real estate and industry, are quite crucial.”
Niu said that some regions need to accelerate the process of cultivating new growth engines to fuel the economy.
Zheng Xinli, deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that more efforts need to be made to push forward urbanization to help boost growth.
A total of 29 local governments at provincial and municipal levels have issued plans to speed up the reform process of the hukou, or permanent household residence, system to help migrants from rural areas settle in urban ones.