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Li: Proactive steps, prudent monetary policy still needed

By HU YONGQI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-08 07:22

Premier Li Keqiang called for keeping macroeconomic policies, market expectations and the financial sector stable in order to properly prevent risks, during a meeting with entrepreneurs and economists.

The premier said during the meeting on Thursday that the Chinese economy will still face difficulties in the future in a deeply changing world, even though the first half of the year saw steady economic growth.

Therefore, he urged continuation of proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, with targeted and well-timed regulation by the government that is aimed at hedging against uncertainties in the international community.

Shen Liantao, chief consultant of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said the international community is facing pressure from risks of high inflation and low growth rate amid geopolitical uncertainties, such as US President Donald Trump's "America First" push.

The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates, arousing risks of capital outflows from emerging economies such as China. Since the beginning of the year, the world's second-largest economy has been deleveraging its economy, which has put the financial sector under stricter supervision to ensure financial safety.

Shen said corporate leverage should be attached with greater attention, and he suggested the deleveraging campaign should eliminate "zombie" companies and clearly nonperforming assets incurred during industrial transformation.

Jia Kang, a well-known economist, showed his optimism about the past six months by saying that the second quarter's GDP growth is estimated at higher than 6.8 percent, and he was confident the year's target of economic growth will be achieved.

The economy is stabilizing and showing positive factors since the Producer Price Index showed an increase in September after 54 months of decrease, Jia said. Exports went up by 19.8 percent from January to May compared with the same period last year, reversing roles to contribute to the economic growth after months of decrease, he said.

In response, Premier Li said employment will be made a top of priority to provide key groups with job opportunities, while the real economy will be strengthened by lowering taxes and fees charged to enterprises.

Meanwhile, aggregate demand will be appropriately expanded while effective investment, especially private investments, should be boosted to enhance the driving force that domestic consumption has provided, Li said.

The premier also urged acceleration of industrial upgrading and transformation while the country carries out the strategy of innovation-driven development, and he called for optimizing the business environment to spur market vitality.

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