The Chinese economy is expected to see stable growth this year as indicators in the first quarter reflect improvements in the economic structure, according to official data.
In the first three months, the nation’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 54.6, 52.9 and 54, respectively, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
As of the end of March, the official manufacturing PMI, which mainly focuses on the economic activities of large companies and State-owned enterprises, had stayed within expansion territory for 20 consecutive months, and the services PMI held out above 54 for seven consecutive months, the NBS said on April 8.
The industrial structure has been improving, with the nonmanufacturing sector growing faster than that of the manufacturing sector in March, the NBS said on April 8.
Recent economic activities reflected an improving trend, and economic conditions remained favorable to support further high-quality growth, according to the NBS.
A stronger economic outlook is consistent with higher demand for power consumption, data from the nation’s top economic regulator showed. During the January-February period, China’s electrical consumption grew by 13.3 percent year-on-year to 1.06 trillion kilowatt-hours, the National Development and Reform Commission said on April 8.
The power consumption growth of emerging industries, such as communications and electronic equipment manufacturing, was faster than that of traditional sectors during the period, the commission said.
The nation’s power generation increased by 10.04 percent year-on-year in the first six days this month, up by 4.62 percentage points over the same period last year, it said.
With an improving economic structure, the economy is expected to grow by around 6.8 percent in the first quarter, which was forecast earlier by Bank of China.
Tuan Huynh, Asia-Pacific chief investment officer at Deutsche Bank Wealth Management, said the government can implement more reforms to further adjust the economic structure and stimulate more balanced growth while preventing financial risks.
Huynh said he believed China can be expected to edge into the high-income economy category in the next five years. It is capable of dealing with key challenges－such as its growing population and overcoming the middle-income trap－with an expected continued rise of per capita GDP, he said.