China's 2017 growth shows "high gold content"

"China's sound economic performance in 2017 was not the result of just one year, but the accumulation of arduous and lasting efforts since the 18th CPC National Congress."

China's economic growth pickup in 2017 was better than expected and accompanied by improving quality, efficiency, and structure, a spokesperson for the country's top economic planner said Monday.

"China's sound economic performance in 2017 was not the result of just one year, but the accumulation of arduous and lasting efforts since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China," Yan Pengcheng, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at a press conference.

The 6.9-percent GDP growth for 2017 showed "high gold content," Yan said, citing positive changes in economic structure, new growth sources, market vitality, and improving macroeconomic regulation.

During the structural transformation, the country worked hard to improve supply-demand relations and optimize the supply structure, he said.

In 2017, the country's value-added industrial output rose 6.6 percent, reversing the drops of the previous six years, NBS data showed.

The contribution of consumption to economic growth reached 58.8 percent, up from 51.8 percent for 2012.

In the past five years, China has maintained "strategic composure" by not resorting to large amounts of liquidity injection, and has sought new ways to improve macroeconomic regulation, Yan said.

"We have paid more attention to the functions of expectation management in macroeconomic control, raised policy transparency, and defused hidden dangers in the economy in a timely manner," he added.

As China implemented a strategy of innovation-driven development in the past five years, research and development expenditure has expanded by an annual rate of more than 11 percent and sci-tech progress have contributed more to economic development, Yan said.

The country saw rapid integration of the internet with real economic sector and led the world in terms of the sharing economy, online shopping and mobile payment, according to the spokesperson.

The government has also transformed its functions to provide a sound business environment and give full play to entrepreneurship. Amid efforts to stimulate mass entrepreneurship and innovation, China saw the registration of 16,600 new companies each day in 2017.

Strong trade growth also contributed to China's economic pickup, he said. Foreign trade rose 14.2 percent year on year in 2017, ending two years of drops, according to the General Administration of Customs.

"Looking ahead, conditions exist for continuous steady economic growth with sound momentum in 2018," Yan said.

However, the country still faces unbalanced and insufficient development and "arduous efforts are still needed to raise the economic quality and efficiency, and realize sustainable development," he said.

High-quality development is "the fundamental requirement" for determining the development path, making economic policies, and conducting macroeconomic regulation at present and in the period to come, according to the central economic work conference.

Wang Jun, head of the NBS International Statistics Center, said that China's rapid growth last year would continue to be the main engine for global economic growth.

World Bank data showed that China contributed some 34 percent to world economic growth from 2012 to 2016, remaining the "ballast stone and booster" of world economic recovery, Wang said.

China's economy expanded 6.9 percent last year, picking up for the first time in seven years and well above the government annual target of around 6.5 percent.

Special Reports