Official: There will be no U-turn on China's macro policy in 2021
Updated 22:58, 19-Jan-2021

China's macro policy this year will definitely match the actual needs of a stable economic growth and there will be no U-turn on the policy, the country's top economic planner said in a regular press conference on Tuesday.

"We've noticed that some voices in the society believe that the policy in 2021 will be fully regressed or even withdrawn. I think this is not correct," said Yan Pengcheng, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Yan noted that the Central Economic Work Conference has made policy arrangements for 2021, and that a main purpose of the macro policy is to ensure the healthy growth of the economy. He said the NDRC will make a balance and deal with all kinds of economic uncertainties.

"In particular, considering that some entities have been experiencing a period of recovery, and some small and medium enterprises have just survived (from the pandemic) without recovery, macro policy will continue to give the necessary support," Yan said.

Yan also pointed out that some temporary policies cannot work in the long term. As the economy gradually returns to normal, it is necessary to use reforms and innovations to stimulate market entities, and leave policy space to deal with more complex situations in the future, he added.

Despite the grave and complex environment posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, China managed to bring its economic growth back to a pre-pandemic rate. Its full-year GDP exceeded 100 trillion yuan ($15.45 trillion) for the first time, China's National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

More economic indicators released by the central government show China's economic performance was better than expected throughout 2020. The country reported GDP increase of 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, bringing the country's full-year expansion to 2.3 percent. The fourth-quarter GDP beat many institutions' expectations, including Reuters' forecast of 6.1 percent and Natixis' estimation of 6.3 percent.

The annual growth of 2.3 percent indicates that China led major economies in annual positive growth in 2020, while many others continue to grapple with the pandemic.

The country's total investment rose by 2.9 percent last year, with steady growth in key areas like infrastructure, manufacturing and real estate. Industrial power generation climbed by 2.7 percent, with a further increase in clean energy. The China-Europe Railway Express's number of trips shot up by 50 percent to more than 12,400. Manufacturing PMI and the non-manufacturing business activity indexes remain at high levels, also indicating bright prospects.

The state economic planner has outlined its policy intentions for sustainable future development, which includes an increasing focus on new infrastructure, new urbanization and major projects, namely the construction of 5G, industrial internet, big data centers, affordable rental housing, urban flood-control facilities, intercity railways, new land-sea trade corridors in western China and more.

"Adhering to the principle of funds for projects, we will further improve and adjust the investment structure within the central government budget," said Yuan Da, director of the NDRC's department of policy studies. "We will improve the environment for private enterprises and stimulate private investment."

NDRC also determines to work closely with relevant government parties to ensure energy supply, while driving growth of renewable energies to meet peak carbon and carbon neutrality targets. "On the one hand, we should strengthen the monitoring and early warning of energy supply-demand situation, coordinate the supply of coal, electricity and natural gas, promote the diversified production of wind, hydro, thermal and nuclear power, to form an orderly energy-use plan," said Zhao Chenxin, secretary general of the NDRC.

"On the other hand, we will continue to improve the system of energy production, supply, storage and marketing, and deepen the reform of the electricity market based on the energy demand during the 14th Five-Year Plan," said Zhao.

Read more:

China's Q4 growth hits pre-virus rate of 6.5%, driving annual GDP to over 100t yuan

(Feng Yilei also contributed to the story)

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