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Leading Economists Optimistic About Rational Economic Growth

The Chinese government's 7-percent economic growth target set for this year with focus on "putting people first" has attained extensive support from people in all walks of life, especially the economic circles.


The following three leading economists try to paint a full picture of China's economic development from their own angels:


-- The growth target can be materialized: Chen Qingtai


Chen based his analysis that the market force will give an even stronger push to economic growth along with the transformation of government functions; the growing confidence of entrepreneurs and consumers in macroeconomic growth will reinforce the foundation of microeconomic activities; in-depth economic restructuring will create more favorable conditions; and a better international environment for economic activities is also in sight.


"The Chinese economy will surge ahead in the wake of the growth momentum of last year and still maintain a rapid growth this year," said Chen, the former deputy director of the Development Research Center under the State Council, or the Chinese cabinet.


-- Changes are expected in prices, consumption and investment: Qiu Xiaohua


Qiu, deputy director of China's National Statistics Bureau, predicted the country's consumer price index would rise to some extent, stirred up by anticipated rise in grain and cooking oil prices after years of sluggish grain production and rising prices at the world market.


The improving consumer environment, accelerating urbanization process would bring about some favorable factors for the growth in consumer demand at the domestic market, which, coupled with expected growth in service consumption, is likely to result in a greater contribution of demand to economic growth.


The growth of fixed asset investment, which contributed nearly 70 percent to economic growth last year, would be weakened this year with an expected drop in bank loans and administrative support.


-- Industry is expected to contribute less to economic growth: Zhang Zhuoyuan


The contribution of industry to China's GDP growth reached a record high of 63 percent last year, but the rate is expected to drop to some 50 percent this year, said the director of institute of industrial economy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


Zhang based his prediction on accelerated growth of agriculture and service sector this year, which would result in a more balanced growth of the primary, second and tertiary industries.


(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2004)


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