Further monetary easing will be 'a trend'
Updated: 2015-02-28 09:20
By Chen Jia(China Daily)
A bank employee prepares bank notes at an Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd cash center in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. [Photo provided to China Daily]
China is heading into a monetary easing cycle this year, and further policy adjustments will be seen in coming months, a government think tank leader said on Friday.
The action will be taken to avoid a long-term economic downturn, Li Yang, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily in an exclusive interview.
"The government's bottom line for economic growth in 2015 should be 7 percent, and it could be lower next year, as the leadership has shown greater tolerance over the pace," Li said.
Further monetary easing is certain to be seen "at the right time" in coming months and will be a trend in the next two to three years. It is not designed to stimulate growth aggressively, but to transform the economy steadily into a "new normal" era of development.
"A moderate easing of monetary policy could avoid a sharp rise in unemployment or social instability and is necessary at this point," Li said.
He said GDP growth in the first quarter may continue to slip from the 7.3 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of last year. The Chinese economy grew at a 24-year low of 7.4 percent last year.
According to the academy, GDP growth this year may slow to 7 percent, with consumer price inflation of 1.3 percent.
The academy's Economics Department met on Friday in Beijing to discuss the economic situation and give suggestions to policymakers ahead of the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which start on Tuesday.
Premier Li Keqiang will deliver the Government Work Report for 2015 on Thursday. The report is expected to give an assessment of China's economic performance last year and set economic targets and policy objectives for this year.
Zhang Ping, deputy head of the Institute of Economic Research at the academy, said that in view of deflation, especially in the manufacturing sector, it will be hard to maintain 7 percent growth in the second quarter of this year if economic deterioration continues, and without any large stimulus measures in the first quarter.