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China can meet 2017 growth target, may struggle on investment: planning head
August 29, 2017 / 2:19 PM / in 4 months

China can meet 2017 growth target, may struggle on investment: planning head

BEIJING (Reuters) - China can meet its 2017 economic growth targets but may struggle to meet its investment and foreign investment goals, the country’s state planning head told parliament on Tuesday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

A man carrying a girl walks through a bridge at a park next to Beijing's central business area, China August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Xinhua cited He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, as saying external factors including rising protectionism, changes in financial policy in major economies and geopolitical instabilities may have a negative impact on the country.

He also said risks from insufficient domestic growth drivers and rising corporate costs cannot be ignored.

China’s economy grew a faster-than-expected 6.9 percent in the first half, putting it on course comfortably to meet its 2017 growth target and giving policymakers room to tackle big economic challenges ahead of important leadership changes later this year.

“China is able to achieve targets in economic growth, employment, inflation, fiscal revenue and trade for the second half,” He was quoted as saying.

China will also step up financial coordination to fend off risks in the country’s “chaotic” financial markets while striving to stabilize the property market, where prices soared last year, He said.

He told lawmakers financial risks are also controllable, with neutral and moderate inter-bank liquidity and relatively fast growth of loans to the real economy, according to Xinhua.

Separately, finance minister Xiao Jie said China will actively resolve local government debt risks and curb the increase in hidden local government debt.

Xiao added that the country will push for a transition to market-based local government financing vehicles (LGFV), which have been relying on implicit guarantees from local governments.

In the first half of this year, the social security fund income rose 28.8 percent year-on-year to 3.14 trillion yuan ($476 billion), while expenditure increased 23.8 percent to 2.47 trillion yuan, Xiao said, citing data from the human resources ministry.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Elias Glenn; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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