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18 Jul, 2013

Chinese premier highlights “scientific economic policies”


BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday that macroeconomic policies should be more scientific, forward-looking and targeted to promote continuous and healthy growth in the long run.

Li made the comments at a conference about the country’s current economic situation, after data showed China’s economic growth slowed to 7.5 percent in the second quarter from 7.7 percent in the first.

Experts and business leaders at the conference believed that China’s economy is generally stable, although difficulties and risks remain.

It is inevitable to see economic fluctuations, Li said, adding that a major task of macroeconomic control is to avoid sharp fluctuations and keep economic growth within a reasonable range. “The lower limit is to stabilize economic growth and maintain employment, while the upper limit is to prevent inflation,” Li said.

China aims to keep economic growth at around 7.5 percent this year and hold inflation at around 3.5 percent. Its economy expanded 7.6 percent in the first half of the year, down from a full-year growth of 7.8 percent in 2012, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew to 2.7 percent year on year in June, up from 2.1 percent in May.

Li said that the country’s economy has come to a new phase when it must rely more on economic transformation and upgrading. The government should coordinate the efforts of stabilizing economic growth, promoting restructuring and advancing reforms.

It should also establish a scientific macro policy framework to ensure stable market expectations and cultivate sound environment for development, Li said.

When economic growth is in the reasonable range, the government should take transforming the economic development pattern as the major task, promoting economic restructuring and giving better play to the market mechanism.

But when the economy reaches its upper or lower limits, macroeconomic policies should lay more emphasis on seeking growth and controlling inflation, Li said. “The country must make macroeconomic policies more scientific, forward-looking and targeted,” he said.

The government should not change the direction of policies based only on temporary changes in economic barometers, or it will lose good opportunities for economic restructuring.

However, it should also be on high alert and fully-prepared when there is a risk for the economy to slip out of the reasonable range or to experience large fluctuations, the premier said.

He said the government should combine the use of multiple policy tools and give full play to the market mechanism, stress innovation-driven growth and take both short-term and long-term growth into consideration.

The country must advance the transformation of economic development mode and raise endogenous impetus of economic growth in a bid to promote continuous and healthy growth in the long haul, Li said.