The mainland faces downward economic pressure and needs to fine-tune policies to hit full-year development targets, a meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping concluded yesterday, without mentioning any specific measures.
Beijing has so far refrained from a massive stimulus after reporting first-quarter economic growth of 7.4 per cent, the slowest pace since 2012.
“The overall economic situation matches macro control efforts and expectations for development,” said the Political Bureau of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, the core of the mainland’s leadership.
“Downward pressure still exists. We must not underestimate some difficulties and must pay high attention to potential risks,” it added, pointing to the uncertain global outlook.
The meeting also said the mainland must increase support of the real economy and ensure reasonable liquidity. In its latest move, the country cut the reserve requirement ratio for rural lenders by 200 basis points this week, a small step to bolster rural development. Almost half of the economists polled by Bloomberg said they expected Beijing to lower the ratio nationwide this year to stem further slowdown.
“We must adjust the meaning [of the basic policy thrust] in accordance with the change in situation and try our best to achieve this year’s targets of economic and social developments,” said a statement on the government’s website after the meeting.
Xi renewed calls to speed up railway and clean-energy infrastructure in the central and western regions, urbanisation, fiscal and financial reforms as well as the revival of the northeastern industrial base, but stopped short of detailing the steps to do so.
Source : South China Morning Post | April 26, 2014