China will continue to lead global growth in 2024 as economists forecast GDP expansion of 5%
Published: Jan 21, 2024 09:38 PM


The world economic recovery is expected to remain slow and imbalanced in 2024, with China to continue to lead global growth, a report showed on Saturday. Analysts said China's GDP growth is expected to reach about 5 percent this year, calling for stepped-up fiscal policy to further tap the potential of domestic demand.

"Global economic growth will still be highly reliant on Asian economies in 2024," said a report released at the World Finance Forum (WFF) held in Beijing on Saturday. According to the report, the US GDP growth rate may decline to 1.5 percent this year, whereas that of the eurozone may rise to 0.9 percent.

"The Chinese authorities may set an annual GDP growth target of about 5 percent for 2024 during this year's two sessions in March, with the actual growth rate expected to be above 5 percent," Feng Xingke, secretary-general of the WFF, told the Global Times.

Such a goal would serve as a strong signal to stabilize market expectations, maintain China's attractiveness to foreign capital and let it continue to play a leading role in global economic growth, Feng said, noting that a good start in the first quarter of 2024 is important for achieving the goal.

Despite growing global uncertainties and domestic challenges such as property and local government debt problems, the Chinese economy still has many opportunities this year, Feng said. In 2024, the central government is expected to announce more new policies, which along with existing policies will greatly boost the recovery of the economy, he said.

He said that the spirit of the annual Central Economic Work Conference should be fully implemented, urging efforts in deepening reform and opening-up, as well as leveraging expectations.

"Two highlights for the economy in 2024 are whether the consumption sector could reach a new peak during the May Day holidays and whether the property sector will stabilize by the end of 2024," Li Daokui, director of Tsinghua University's Academic Center for Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking, told the Global Times on Saturday.

"The potential of our economy remains great," Li said at the WFF, noting that China has strong production and innovation capacity, with a large number of graduates every year forming a solid basis for innovation and accelerated growth.

Li said that China's fiscal policy should shift focus from mainly driving infrastructure investment and reducing taxes and fees to stimulating consumer spending in order to promote high-quality development in the new era.

In this regard, Li suggested helping migrant workers settle in urban regions by helping them buy homes, ensuring their children can go to schools locally, and offering subsidies for their parents living in rural areas. 

The authorities should reduce barriers to consumption by middle-income groups in cities and provide support for couples who are willing to have more children.

According to the WFF report, China's fiscal deficit ratio may be elevated to about 3.5-4.0 percent in 2024, with greater priority given to sectors including people's livelihoods, tech innovation and green development.

In 2023, China's GDP reached 126 trillion yuan ($17.67 trillion), up 5.2 percent year-on-year, meeting the target of about 5 percent, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.