BEIJING — New economic indicators show China’s economy is stabilizing and on track for 7.5 percent overall growth this year, officials from the China National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.
“The economy is showing some positive changes. Signs of growth stabilization are becoming more obvious,” statistics bureau spokesman Sheng Laiyun told a news conference here. “We are confident that the economy is sustaining the positive momentum in the second half and confident of meeting the economic growth target.”
China’s initial growth target for 2013 has been shaken by slowed production and export data in recent months, a trend that appeared to reverse this summer when July manufacturing output increased to the fastest rate all year. The economy grew by 7.7 percent in the first quarter of this year and 7.5 percent in the second quarter.
Sheng said maintaining rapid growth is ever more difficult in the midst of economic reforms and a declining labor pool. He noted that increasing domestic consumption is beginning to fuel growth significantly and is expected to continue, even as exports continue to make up less of the country’s manufacturing output.
China’s new leadership, which took over rule of the country formally this year, is expected to unveil a raft of economic reforms this fall, much intended to shore up problem spots like a dangerous property bubble and a massively overheated lending market, including untold amounts of underground and “gray” loans. Officials have released few details about their plans, and the country’s economic course is up for speculation.
At a minimum, officials are expected to take steps to keep the overall growth rate as high as possible. Still, officials have acknowledged that slower economic growth rates will help check the country’s daunting air, soil and water pollution problems.
While China’s growth has slowed incrementally in recent years, inflation has been kept largely under control and the country has not had to deal with mass unemployment.