An important economic policy meeting is underway in Beijing. The annual Central Economic Work Conference will last for three days and chart the course for monetary and fiscal policy in 2012. But no broad changes are to be expected. Rather, leaders will seek to fine-tune existing policies and discuss key economic targets.
The year 2012 is considered a crucial year for China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). Analyst said the strategies decided on at this conference will be significant for consolidating the sound momentum of China's economy and further promote steady and relatively fast economic growth.
Zhang Liqun, researcher of Development Research Center of the State Council, said, "China has great development potential for the coming year. But, during the process, there are high risks and all sort of uncertainties. The global economic downturn will increase the level of uncertainty during China's steady growth next year."
At the meeting it's expected that China would continue to balance efforts to "ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth, while adjusting the economic structure and regulating inflationary expectations."
Fang Gang, director of National Economic Research Institute said, "China's inflation will drop next year, but we still have to be careful if it's above 3 or 4 percent. We have to ensure growth and prevent inflation at the same time, which requires related policies to make it work. Monetary policy may be better when it comes to curbing inflation, but maintaining growth also needs fiscal policy and others too."
China's GDP growth slowed to 9.1 percent in the third quarter from 9.5 percent in the second quarter, and 9.7 percent in the first quarter.
A senior economist at the Asian Development Bank said 8.5 percent growth is reasonable for next year.
Zhang Jian, senior economist of Asian Development Bank said, "If the growth rate is allowed to slow to around 8.5 percent, it will be a healthy and long term development for China, and beneficial to China's structural adjustment. If China - the world's second largest economy - can control inflation and have steady growth, it will be beneficial not only to the Chinese economy, but the global economy as well."
Prior to the Central Economic Work Conference, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said that China will maintain its prudent monetary policy and proactive fiscal policy next year, while making macroeconomic regulations more targeted, flexible and forward-looking.
(CNTV.cn December 13, 2011)