BEIJING — The Chinese economy is confronted with more difficulties than anticipated in 2014, but it has scored more achievements than expected, said Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner.
China targets its growth of approximately 7 percent in 2015, lower than the goal of around 7.5 percent in 2014, according to a government work report on March 5 delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the parliament’s annual session. The target is also lower than the 7.4-percent economic growth rate registered in 2014, its weakest annual expansion since 1990.
When asked the possibility of a hard landing of the Chinese economy at a press conference on March 5, Xu said the economy grew steadily last year, the price growth slowed and the employment situation remained stable.
China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation pressure, rose 2 percent in 2014 year on year, lower than the government-set target of around 3.5 percent. The world’s second largest economy created 13.22 million urban jobs last year.
“Moreover, China has made new breakthroughs on reform and opening-up and further invigorated the market through efforts like reforms in the business system, further streamlining administration and delegating more powers to lower-level governments and to society,” he said.
China has also made progress in its economic restructuring, said Xu, citing figures that the added value from the tertiary sector accounted for 48.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 and China’s energy intensity dropped by 4.8 percent last year.
People’s living standards have also been improved as per capita disposable income of all Chinese residents rose 8 percent last year, he said.
“The Chinese economy is performing within an appropriate range with better growth quality, and the 7.4-percent growth rate last year is in line with our expectations and has placed the Chinese economy among the top in the world in terms of growth speed,” he stressed.