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China upbeat on growth target

International Business
Mon, 09 Jan 2017

SHANGHAI: China is confident to have reached an economic growth of 6.7 per cent in 2016, within a targeted range set earlier in the year, vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao said yesterday.

China’s economy expanded at a steady 6.7pc in the first three quarters last year, and Zhu said he was confident the growth rate would have reached the same level or more in the fourth quarter of 2016. Zhu’s remarks were made at a forum held by Tsinghua University in Beijing.

China, which had been aiming for a 6.5-7pc economic growth for 2016, boosted government spending, saw a housing rally and record high levels of bank lending last year, which, however, also led to an explosive increase in debt.

A government-run think tank said earlier this month that China’s economic growth could slow to 6.5pc in 2017 from about 6.7pc in 2016.

Zhu also said the global economy would face some uncertainty this year amid worries about US policy changes after President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.

During his campaign, Trump threatened to declare Beijing a currency manipulator and levy a 45pc punitive tax on all Chinese goods to reduce a massive US trade deficit with China.

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