Will Slow and Steady Win the Economic Race for China?
China is on track to hit an annual economic growth rate of 7.5 percent in 2013, according to a spokesman for the nation’s National Bureau of Statistics. Speaking at a Foreign Ministry conference Monday, spokesman Sheng Laiyun said: “The economy is showing some positive changes. Signs of growth stabilization are becoming more obvious.” He added that the country is “confident that the economy is sustaining the positive momentum in the second half and confident of meeting the economic growth target.”
Chinese officials have struck a hard line when it comes to maintaining the 7.5 percent gross domestic product growth rate. At a glance, the target may seem enormously ambitious when compared against growth in the United States or the European Union, both of which have struggled to grow in the low single digits recently. But for China, 7.5 percent annual growth represents the slowest rate in three years and is a far cry from the double-digit economic expansion once experienced in the country.
This target rate also represents a focus on the quality of economic growth instead of the speed. Officials have deliberately engaged in policies that have encouraged long-term investment, sometimes at the cost of short-term growth.