Economy set to see steady performance this year

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, April 23, 2022
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The container terminal of Xiuying Port in Haikou, South China's Hainan province. [Photo/China News Service]

China has vowed to make concerted efforts to get the economy through challenges at home and abroad, boosting market confidence that the nation's economy will maintain a steady performance this year, officials and experts said.

Despite downward economic pressure intensified by emerging uncertainties, China is fully confident and capable of achieving sustainable and healthy economic development, Vice-Premier Han Zheng said while meeting domestic and foreign entrepreneurs on Thursday during the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022 in Hainan province.

This year, macroeconomic policies feature greater intensity, more support for the real economy and the grassroots, and implementation at an earlier date, Han said, adding that China's economy has seen an overall steady performance.

China will also make efforts to minimize the economic impact of COVID-19, ensure the stability of industrial chains and energy supply, and improve the business environment with equal treatment for all types of market players, Xinhua News Agency quoted Han as saying.

Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank, also vowed at the forum to beef up efforts for the real economy by maintaining an accommodative monetary policy throughout the year and being ready to support small and medium-sized enterprises with more measures if required.

Yi also stressed the central bank's commitment to maintaining price stability. "Price stability is our policy priority," Yi said while addressing a session of the forum on Friday, adding that this is especially important in agricultural production, and the production and importation of key energies-such as coal, oil and gas.

Experts said the remarks signaled that stronger policy efforts on multiple fronts could be in the pipeline to shore up the Chinese economy and buffer a rise in challenges at home and abroad.

After registering better-than-expected GDP growth of 4.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, China's economy now faces more head-winds as resurgences of COVID-19 hurt domestic demand and supply chain stability.

Unstable external factors are also on the rise as geopolitical tensions have inflated global energy and food prices while monetary tightening by developed economies has tightened global liquidity conditions.

Policy responses have sped up as the central bank and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange proposed 23 measures on Monday to support the real economy, focusing on helping hard-hit market players with their difficulties, smoothing domestic economic circulation and promoting foreign trade.

Wang Chunying, a spokeswoman for the administration, said on Friday that in accordance with the 23 measures, it will make more enterprises eligible for trade facilitation policies, strengthen the support of export credit insurance and aid qualified companies in cross-border financing.

With multiple policy support and better containment of COVID-19, China's economy is expected to rebound in the second half of the year after slowing down in the second quarter, said Hu Yifan, regional chief investment officer and head of macroeconomics for Asia-Pacific with UBS Global Wealth Management.

Hu said she expects China to implement supportive policies at a faster pace, which could possibly include stronger measures to boost consumption and moderate relaxations of property sector restrictions.

Wen Bin, chief researcher at China Minsheng Bank, said the central bank is expected to make further use of structural monetary tools to support agricultural production and the efficient use of coal, helping to reinforce the foundations of a stable price environment.

It was decided at a meeting of the central bank on Friday to step up support for agricultural production and the supply of key energies while putting in place policies supportive of smaller businesses and vulnerable groups hit by COVID-19.

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