January 23, 2018, 11:50 pm
Facebook iconTwitter iconYouTube iconGoogle+ icon

Li says China 2017 GDP growth seen at around 6.9%

BEIJING- China’s Premier Li Keqiang said the world’s second-biggest economy is expected to have grown around 6.9 percent last year, the official Xinhua news agency reported, accelerating from a 26-year low in 2016.

In the past year, China’s economy has maintained a steady and favorable trend, with the overall situation better than expected, Li said at the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Forum on Wednesday.

Analysts expect the economy to have grown around 6.8 percent last year, beating the government’s target of about 6.5 percent, thanks to a construction boom and robust global demand for Chinese exports. Gross domestic product expanded 6.7 percent in 2016.

The main reason why China performed well last year was because it refrained from “flooding” the economy with stimulus while pushing ahead with supply-side reforms and cultivating new sources of momentum, Li said.

Massive stimulus in the past to stop growth flagging as the global economy faced strong headwinds had led to massive borrowing by state-run firms and local governments.

Total debt in the second quarter of last year amounted to 255.9 percent of GDP, according to Bank for International Settlements estimates.

Policymakers have been relentless in their efforts to defuse financial risks amid a mountain of debt as China makes its gradual transition from a command to a market economy.

The country’s corporate leverage ratio declined at a steady pace last year, Li said, according to Xinhua.

China’s foreign exchange reserves also continued to rise last year, the premier said.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves rose to their highest in more than a year in December, blowing past economists’ estimates, as tight regulations and a strong yuan continued to discourage capital outflows.

The official 2017 GDP data is due to be published on Jan. 18.

Policy sources told Reuters previously that China will still keep its GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent in 2018 as Beijing seeks to balance efforts to reduce debt risks while keeping the economy on a steady footing. – Reuters 
Category: 
Rating: 
No votes yet

Column of the Day

Facebook’s constant state of denial

By ABIGAIL VALTE | January 23,2018
‘Funny that Facebook is concerned about objectivity problems but turns around and gives the users the power to rank based on their standards of trustworthiness.’

Opinion of the Day

Ressa and Mocha

By DAHLI ASPILLERA | January 24, 2018
‘Two female news dispensers, CEO Maria Ressa of Rappler On-line News and Mocha Uson of the Presidential Press Office are themselves now in the news.’