Chinas economy slows down to 6.7 pc in 2016

Beijing: Chinas economy, the worlds second largest, will slow down to 6.7 per cent in 2016 from 6.9 per cent the year before, a top Chinese planner said today.

In 2015, China posted 6.9 per cent GDP, the slowest in 25 years, slipping below 7 per cent.

Chinas economy is estimated to grow by about 6.7 per cent in 2016, Xu Shaoshi, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

The official figures were expected to be released in the next few days.

The economy would exceed 70 trillion yuan (about USD 10.1 trillion) last year, an increase of 5 trillion yuan, he said.

However in dollar terms it is around USD 0.2 trillion less as the economy in 2015 netted 67.67 trillion yuan (about  USD 10.3 trillion as per exchange rate at that time).

China has revised the 2015 figures on January 9 under which the size of the economy was officially stated to be 68.91 trillion yuan (USD 9.96 trillion) up 354.6 billion yuan from its preliminary figure.

In dollar terms however the figure was less comparatively as yuan continued to decline sharply since last year trading around 6.90 to the US dollar.

Xu said steady growth and the performance of new sectors have debunked predictions that Chinas economy will collapse or face a hard landing, and the growth rate was remarkable among major economies.

The 6.7 per cent growth was in the range of 6.5 to 7 per cent official target fixed by Premier Li Keqiang last year.

President Xi Jinping has directed officials to ensure that the economy should not go below 6.5 per cent.

Citing a report by the International Monetary Fund, Xu said with 6.9 per cent China may have contributed 1.2 percentage points, or over 30 per cent, of the worlds economic growth in 2016, while the US might account for 0.3 percentage points.

This would mean China has been the top engine of global growth for 10 years in a row.

China is confident in and capable of maintaining the reasonable growth rate thanks to its economic structural reforms and emerging new sources of growth, Xu said.

As China adapts to a new normal of moderate-to-high growth, it has tried to shift from an export-and-investment driven economy to one that is more sustainable and draws strength from consumption, services and innovation.

In the first three quarters of 2016, the economy expanded 6.7 per cent, well within the governments target range of between 6.5 and 7 per cent. 

PTI