BEIJING — The Chinese economy will likely step out of the worst period of the current macroeconomic cycle this year or the next thanks to comprehensive reforms, an economist said on June 25.
“China is now in the most crucial, and also final, period of its economic overhaul, which started in 2011,” said Lu Feng, head of China Macroeconomic Research Center under Peking University, during a forum on China’s economic outlook.
Lu said that as long as there are no substantial changes in pro-growth and reform policies, the world’s second largest economy may come out of this “most difficult time” in 2015 or 2016.
His remarks follow a string of economic indicators showing the economy continued to slip, with exports, investment and industrial activity in May lingering at their weakest level in years. GDP growth last year was the lowest in 24 years.
With the breakneck growth of the past decades, China was left with industrial overcapacity, from overheated investment and uncontrollable expansion.
“The previous mass stimulus and rent-seeking prolonged the hard times and made it even more difficult,” Lu said.
Economic restructuring and reform measures have managed to cool overheated sectors, guide capital into areas that need it and guide the economy on to a sustainable path.
“China’s strongest-ever anti-graft campaign also proved necessary for sustainable economic and political development,” Lu said. “Although the crackdown has curbed luxurious catering and jewelry sales.”
Lu predicted four major economic changes in the future.
Along with its reform progress, China will build up a modern and open economic frame and private firms will play a bigger role, Lu said.
Given still growing economy and appreciating currency, China will likely join the high-income club with its economic scale approaching or surpassing the United States by the end of 2020, he said.
To maintain medium to high-level economic growth, China will steer the economy into a growth path more focused on quality, efficiency and energy conservation in the future, Lu said.
He also forecast China will participate in global governance in a more profound manner due to its reinforced leading position in the world economy.