Chinese economy sets sail for a long, confident journey toward prosperity

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/22 21:45:18

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT

The quarterly and annual reports of listed firms in the financial sector are like mirrors reflecting the actual performance of the sector as well as changes in financial services and macroeconomic moves. 

Listed commercial banks and insurance companies recently posted their 2018 annual reports and first quarter results. The data showed that 32 banks listed on the Chinese mainland stock exchanges recorded a 15.9 percent rise year-on-year in operating income, 7.5 percentage points higher than 2018. An increasing amount of credit was extended to privately run companies and small and micro-sized businesses. Insurance premiums and operating revenues of five listed insurers also went up substantially compared with last year, an indication the insurance sector has delivered stellar performance. These offer strong proof that the Chinese economy is off to a good start this year and has maintained its resilience. 

Judging from recent statistics, the Chinese economy has shown signs of steady growth. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released major economic indicators for April. According to NBS figures, the Index of Services Production grew by 7.4 percent year-on-year, the second highest monthly growth rate since last September. The added value of high-tech manufacturing rose by 11.2 percent year-on-year, 5.8 percentage points quicker than that generated by major industrial firms. There's also a change for the better in the job market, with the registered urban unemployment rate edging down 0.2 percentage points. The latest economic data illustrates that as measured by economic growth, employment and market vitality, the Chinese economy still operates within a reasonable range and is overall stable and continues its steady growth. 

The economy is also expected to keep up momentum over the medium term. China's GDP growth rate has stayed in the range of 6.4-6.8 percent for 14 quarters in a row, continuing a stable growth trend that has prevailed in recent years. In addition, the economy also continues to add jobs, Chinese residents' income grew slightly faster than economic expansion, and consumption continues to serve as the main engine powering economic growth. Under a complex and grim situation both at home and abroad, China has steadied its economy, with major economic indicators keeping within a reasonable range and better than expected. The economy's continued growth momentum is not only reflected in terms of speed, but more importantly in restructuring and transformation of its development. With the government pushing deeper into restructuring reforms on the supply side in recent years, the economy has seen signs of a positive cycle - a rebound in prices, reduced costs, improved earnings, and increased confidence - pointing to a conspicuous improvement in quality and efficiency. It could be said that the Chinese economy has become more stabilized and its growth momentum has become a lot more apparent. 

Looking afar, the economy is on path to long-term prosperity. On the supply side, the nation has a comparative advantage when it comes to labor resources, land and capital. There has been a continuing quality upgrade in its supply system. On the demand side, the nation of 1.4 billion has a huge domestic market, the middle-income group has quickly expanded and there are conspicuous signs of upgraded consumption, equipping the economy with enormous resilience and internal impetus. 

The confidence we have in the economy also derives from the availability of macroeconomic policy. Since reform and opening-up, the country has accumulated rich experience in macroeconomic fine-tuning. It has a lot of policy leeway and sufficient policy tools. Although the country will inevitably face new problems and challenges as its moves ahead, the fundamentals and basic characteristics of the Chinese economy - good resilience, abundant potential, and considerable leeway - will stay unchanged. 

There is a Chinese saying that goes: those who can observe the trends are wise-minded and those who can ride the waves will win. Observations regarding the Chinese economy ought not to be obscured by fears of floating clouds. Only in this way can the big trends that shape economic development be grasped and future directions be discerned. The ship carrying the Chinese economy has always sailed through big waves. As the economy becomes stronger, its vitality becomes increasingly visible and its potential is continuously unleashed, the country is seen to be moving steadily on its path toward quality development. There's every reason to believe that the growth momentum of the Chinese economy and the stability and certainty of its long-term growth will surely defeat instability and uncertainty, thereby pushing the economy toward quality development and embracing a brighter outlook.

As lines from an ancient Chinese poem go, "boats sailing along the river move fast while people walking along the road won't get lost." The continuation of steady, positive growth over the long term is a big trend for the Chinese economy, which hasn't and won't be changed. So long as we stay confident, continue the assault of fortified positions and work hard, the huge ship carrying the Chinese economy will sail a long voyage toward a more beautiful future. 

The article was compiled based on a commentary recently posted by the People's Daily.


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