GT Voice: New bright spots in economy generate renewed confidence
Published: Jan 31, 2024 10:41 PM
A view of the skyline of Beijing's CBD area. Photo: VCG

A view of the skyline of Beijing's CBD area. Photo: VCG

The IMF on Tuesday raised its forecast for global economic growth this year in its newly released World Economic Outlook update, citing resilience in the US, Chinese fiscal stimulus and a strong performance by several large emerging markets and developing economies. 

Growth in China is projected at 4.6 percent in 2024, an upward revision of 0.4 percentage points from the October outlook.

The IMF's prediction is still relatively low compared with the forecasts of some Chinese economists for this year, which generally hover around 5 percent. But the IMF's revision is undoubtedly a good sign, pointing to the improving confidence and expectations for the Chinese economy among Western public opinion.

There is no denying that confidence is very important for the Chinese economy, especially when it is facing a complex and challenging development environment. Relatively strong confidence can activate all factors of development and make it easier to achieve set goals by bringing more cooperation opportunities to China.

Under the current circumstances of the global economy, confidence will not recover easily, but confidence can be restored by the real performance of the Chinese economy.

While there has been a new wave of hype about the "China collapse theory" in Western public opinion for some time, the sound fundamentals of the Chinese economy and positive factors emerging since the start of this year have again proved the pessimistic rhetoric about China is untenable. Here are just a few. 

Data released recently by local authorities provided further evidence of the country's economic recovery in 2023, with some of the highlights in China's economic development especially inspiring. 

For instance, the GDP of Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality surpassed 3 trillion yuan ($421.54 billion) for the first time in 2023, making it the fourth city in the country to top this figure. 

In Shanghai, the scale of the three leading industries - integrated circuits, biomedicine and artificial intelligence - reached 1.6 trillion yuan in 2023, with the actual use of foreign capital at a record high. 

In East China's Anhui Province, vehicle production increased by 48.1 percent in 2023, and new-energy vehicle output surged by 60.5 percent. In Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, a boom in snow tourism drove the number of tourists up 85.1 percent year-on-year, with local tourism revenue soaring 213.8 percent.

Some of these figures reflect the rebound in China's economy, some point to the recovery of the consumer market, and others show the country's innovation and technological progress, which are translating into industrial upgrading and economic growth.

Moreover, since the start of this year, news about China's foreign economic cooperation has constantly emerged. 

A delegation of about 200 Japanese business leaders and CEOs came to China recently in their first visit since 2019 as they sought to bolster economic relations. 

Almost at the same time, a delegation of executive directors of the World Bank visited China to show the importance they attach to cooperation with China.

Their eagerness to deepen cooperation with China is sufficient to show their bullish view about the Chinese market.

The Chinese economy may be in a middle of a difficult recovery, but it is the strong fundamentals of the Chinese economy that have given us hope this year.

Also, the Chinese government has adopted a series of macroeconomic, financial and property policies aimed at boosting confidence, reinforcing market expectations of a faster recovery in the Chinese economy.

These positive factors not only show the strong resilience and robust vitality of China's economy, but also lay a solid foundation for future development, which is where market confidence will come from.