Sunday, December 10, 2023

China’s 2023 growth target within reach – China bank governor

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China is expected to hit its annual gross domestic product growth target this year, and the country must transform its growth model to pursue high-quality and sustainable expansion, the country’s central bank governor said on Wednesday. Growth momentum has improved recently with production and consumption recovering steadily and employment and consumer prices remaining stable overall, People’s Bank of China Governor Pan Gongsheng said in a speech published on the central bank’s website.

Beijing has set an economic growth target of around 5 per cent for this year. “Our country’s economy needs a reasonable growth rate, but more importantly, we need to achieve high-quality and sustainable development,” Pan said. “Transforming the economic growth mode is more important than pursuing a high growth rate.”

The central bank will maintain reasonable credit growth, keep liquidity reasonably ample, and “activate financial resources that have been inefficiently occupied and improve the efficiency of fund utilisation”, Pan said, without elaborating. Chinese leaders have pledged to allocate more financial resources to support tech innovation, advanced manufacturing and green development.

Monetary policy deliberations will pay closer attention to cross-cyclical and counter-cyclical adjustments, Pan added.

China is scrambling to revive growth after a brief post-COVID-19 bounce faltered amid a protracted property market slump and local government debt risks. Economic indicators released on Tuesday showed imports unexpectedly swung to growth in October while exports contracted at a quicker pace. Pan said he would push financial institutions to keep stable financing channels open through property credit and bonds to help address real estate weakness.

The central bank will also provide liquidity support to areas with high debt when necessary, according to Pan. Pan also said he will strictly control investment in new projects in areas that have high debt burdens.

The central bank will keep the yuan basically stable, prevent the formation of one-sided and self-reinforcing market expectations in the yuan, and reduce risks of the currency overshooting, Pan said. The yuan has lost more than 5 per cent so far this year, making it one of the worst-performing Asian currencies. 

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