More headwinds ahead

Updated: 2014-06-12 08:12

(China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

A stronger sense of responsibility and urgency is badly needed for Chinese policymakers to achieve this year's economic growth target as the downward pressure will likely remain heavy for the rest of the year.

The rising consumer price increases and slowing producer price declines in May are among the latest signs, such as accelerated manufacturing and export growth, which tentatively show that the Chinese economy is stabilizing from a bumpy start to the year.

However, the World Bank's latest projection of lower global growth for 2014 is a warning that Chinese policymakers should take into full consideration when trying to lift the world's second-largest economy from its slowest growth in 18 months in the first quarter.

Mainly because of weakness in many developing countries, the Washington-based bank on Tuesday lowered its forecast of global growth to only 2.8 percent this year, down from its January estimate of 3.2 percent.

Chinese exporters will have to prepare for both increasingly tough competition and shrinking demand from these countries.

Worse, if the bank's confidence in stronger growth from developed economies is misplaced, Chinese policymakers should better brace for tougher international conditions that would only make domestic-demand-led growth all the more important.

Fueled by super-low interest rates, the world's wealthiest countries are expected to expand 1.9 percent this year, up from 1.3 percent in 2013.

Yet, in absence of concrete evidence that debt-laden rich countries have implemented meaningful structural reforms to boost substantial growth of their real economies since the 2008 global financial crisis, stock markets in these countries are approaching record levels seemingly on the back of too much cheap credit and risk-taking.

It is difficult to tell exactly when such a divergence will come to an end. But it is not hard to see the danger it ultimately imposes to the world economy, developing economies in particular.

Such external uncertainty means Chinese policymakers must double their efforts to speed sustainable growth at home.

Premier Li Keqiang has just told the nation's top academicians and scientists that a growing domestic consumption market and industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization will enable China to maintain medium to high level of economic growth for a long period. And innovation will be the key to drive growth toward better quality and greater efficiency.

So, in spite of difficulties at home and abroad, it is time for China to gain more economic momentum from reforms and restructuring.