China braces for slower but better growth in 2015
Updated: 2015-01-05 09:18
China International Capital Corporation, the country's largest investment bank, painted a less pessimistic picture for the 2015 economy, saying the country will be able to clinch a 7.3 percent growth.
The investment bank said the monetary and housing market policies are likely to gradually shift from being "relatively tight" to "loose and normal" in 2015, and the fiscal policy would stay proactive.
In addition, the property sector will probably exert a much smaller drag on economic growth in 2015. The sector is expected to drag down China's 2015 GDP growth by 0.3 percentage point, compared with one percentage point for 2014, according to the CICC forecast.
Being it 7.0 percent, 7.1 percent or 7.3 percent, the growth rate will be much slower than the average for the past 35 years. Between 1978 and 2013, annual growth of the Chinese economy averaged close to 10 percent and, between 2003 and 2007, more than 11.5 percent.
Instead of this "old normal" economic growth featuring high speed and excessive reliance on investment, export and resources, the world's second largest economy is striving to shift gears to adapt to the "new normal" of slower speed, higher quality and more innovation.
At the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference in December, Chinese leaders decided to adopt "a proactive fiscal policy which should be stronger, and a prudent monetary policy, which should be more focused on striking a proper balance between being tight and loose."
Standard Chartered expects China to set a lower growth target of 7 percent for 2015, compared with 7.5 percent in 2014, saying "achieving this will not be easy amid the rising challenges of a weakening labor market, disinflationary pressures and relatively high lending rates."
The conference fell short of setting a target for 2015, but said the authorities will be "reasonable" in setting such goals.
China's policy-makers are fully aware of the challenges, saying at the conference that the economy still faces many challenges and "relatively big" downward pressures such as increasing difficulties for businesses and the emergence of economic risks.
However, the leaders reassured the market that China can deliver its social and economic goals for 2014 "relatively well," and they believe moderate slowdown is a price worth paying for a more balanced and sustainable economy growth.
Consumption is expected to contribute 50.9 percent of GDP growth next year, up 0.9 percentage point from this year, investment will account for 46.8 percent of economic growth, down 0.9 percentage point, while exports will contribute 2.3 percent, according to the PBOC paper.