China's major economic indicators for the first half of the year were released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on July 15. Despite downward pressure, the Chinese economy has maintained stable growth.
At a seminar on the economic situation on July 10, Premier Li Keqiang said that although some structural problems accumulated over the past few years have been exposed, the Chinese economy is turning for the better on the whole and demonstrates great resilience, potential and flexibility. He called for greater efforts to strike a balance between stabilizing growth and restructuring the economy.
Sluggish external demand, rising labor costs and the elimination of outdated capacity, among others, have all contributed to the slowdown of the Chinese economy in recent years. However, the country's GDP still registered 7-percent growth in the first six months. Although such a rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, it is admirable compared with many other countries in the world.
To be more specific, ample employment, a mild inflation and a big trade surplus were reported for the first two quarters of the year. In response, NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said that the Chinese economy has shown signs of positive changes and the growth momentum has been enhanced.
It is predicted that the economy in the second half of the year is likely to outperform the first half.
There are solid reasons to support such a forecast. For example, economy-stimulating policies unveiled by the Central Government in the first half of the year will come into full effect in the second half, while many investment projects approved in the first half will begin construction or be put into operation. The real estate industry that showed signs of recovery in the first half is expected to drive the growth of relevant industries later this year. In addition, more reform and innovation-supporting measures will be released by the government, which will further boost the development of the private sector.
Some scholars are even more optimistic and hold that the Chinese economy has the potential to continue to maintain medium-to-high speed growth for a period to come. The reasons they cite are as follows: First, China's industrialization and urbanization are accelerating; second, the country's consumption structure is upgrading, with a fast increase in expenses on personal development and recreational activities; and third, the country's less developed central and western regions have quite a bit of potential for growth.