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China has confidence, capability to ensure sound economic growth despite challenges: official

2022/1/18 10:22:27   source:Global Times

After China posted a stronger-than-expected GDP growth of 8.1 percent in 2021 on Monday, a Chinese official said that the country has the confidence and capabilities to ensure sustained, sound economic development going forward despite rising challenges, pointing to various emerging growth points within the economy, including growing fixed-asset investment.

With the acceleration of special bond issuance and the start of construction of a large number of major projects, the growth rate of fixed-asset investment, one of China's three drivers of economic growth, is set to pick up this year, said Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

China's fixed-asset investment increased 4.9 percent year-on-year in 2021, data from the NBS showed on Monday. Investment in property development rose 4.4 percent last year from the previous year.

"In general, investment has maintained a recovery trend in 2021. Over the past year, the scale of investment has continued to expand and the structure has been optimized, which has played an important role in optimizing the supply structure, improving the quality of supply, and making up for weaknesses," Ning told a press conference following the release of a batch of key economic data in 2021.

In the next stage, growth trend of investment is promising. From the perspective of China's development stage, there is potential, space and motivation to expand effective investment, despite that the international environment is complex and severe, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, posing certain constraints on investment growth, Ning said.

With the acceleration of the issuance of local government special bonds since the second half of last year, and the accelerated release of investment in the central budget, 102 key projects in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) have been launched one after another. Moreover, enhanced policy support is conducive to the steady recovery of fixed-asset investment, according to the official.

Data from the NBS showed that compared with consumption and exports, the other two driving forces of China's economic growth, fixed-asset investment posed a negative 11.6 percent contribution rate to the economy in the fourth quarter of 2021; however, the indicator in November and December consecutively picked up. The total planned investment of newly started projects increased by 3.3 percent year-on-year from January to December.

Over the past year, consumption, fixed-asset investment and exports contributed 65.4 percent, 13.7 percent, and 20.9 percent respectively to economic growth, NBS data unveiled.

"Facing a complex and severe economic environment, the fundamentals of China's long-term economic growth have not changed, the favorable conditions for building a new development pattern have not changed, and new economic growth driving forces will continue to emerge," Ning said, adding that in the next step, the driving force of China's economic growth will not only come from the three drivers, but also from the promotion of supply, not only from the expansion of domestic demand, but also from the expansion of external demand.

China's economic growth is mainly driven by domestic demand. The contribution rate of domestic demand to economic growth reached 79.1 percent in 2021, an increase of 4.4 percentage points over the previous year. 

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