Business / Opinion

No rush to rebalance China's economy: economist

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-01-04 14:37

BEIJING -- The whole world says China needs to rebalance its economy, and the Chinese government agrees. But one economist now says: "Wait a minute."

And he is not a nobody. Yukon Huang is a prominent economist and the World Bank's former country director for China.

For the last few decades, China's economy has gone from strength to strength.

From experiencing double-digit growth, to riding out the Global Financial Crisis, it has survived to become the world's second biggest economy.

But despite its status as an economic powerhouse, China's economy is often labeled as unbalanced, in terms of its disproportionate shares between investment and consumption.

Rather than redress the imbalance, Huang said China is on the right track.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Huang said "rapid growth is essentially an unbalanced process."

"Unbalance is not the problem," Huang said. "The problem is to make sure that you invest in the right things."

In China, consumer spending in the first three quarters of 2013 made up 45.9 percent of the country's economic growth, while investment accounted for 55.8 percent, according to the country's National Bureau of Statistics.

A senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Huang said while China's consumption is only about 35 percent of its domestic gross product, consumption shouldn't just be considered as a share of GDP.

"China's consumption, in real terms, adjusted for inflation, has been increasing for several decades," Huang said.

Co-editor of "Reshaping Economic Geography in East Asia" and "East Asia Visions", Huang has studied development of the world's economic juggernauts.

He said when the US was industrializing over a century ago, it had "the most unbalanced growth process that we've ever seen".

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