China's economy maintains sound momentum despite fluctuations
China Daily

A worker performs finishing work on steel billets at a special steel company in Ma'anshan, Anhui province, on March 30. [Photo by Luo Jisheng/For China Daily]

BEIJING -- Despite mounting domestic and external uncertainties, China's economy continues to progress with a sound momentum, an official told Xinhua in an interview.

"Although some indicators saw short-term contractions mainly due to the COVID-19 blow, the fundamentals underpinning the economy's stable development and sound momentum remain unchanged," said Sheng Laiyun, deputy head of the National Bureau of Statistics.

In particular, the country's general trend toward economic upgrading and high-quality development has not changed, he said.

China's economy got off to a steady start in the first quarter of this year, with its GDP growing 4.8 percent year on year, accelerating from a 4 percent increase in the fourth quarter last year.

However, shrinking demand, supply shocks and weakening expectations have weighed on the economy since March. Sheng said that leveraging multi-pronged macro policies is the key to reducing the COVID-19 impact to the minimum and ensuring the economy operates in a reasonable range.

The country has vowed to adhere unwaveringly to its dynamic zero-COVID policy to consolidate the hard-won results of prevention and control work, Sheng said.

He also stressed ramping up pro-growth policies and giving full play to effective investment. "History has shown that expanding infrastructure investment is the most effective and fastest way out of short-term economic hardship," he said.

China's amount of infrastructure per capita is only 20 percent to 30 percent of that of developed countries, and its per capita railway operating length is less than 30 percent of the figure for the United States, showing great potential for infrastructure investment, Sheng said.

He also mentioned measures including tax and fee cuts, the deferral of social security contribution payments and the issuance of inclusive loans to shore up market entities.

Noting the increasing COVID-induced pressure on the job market, Sheng highlighted the importance of the full and thorough implementation of pro-employment policies.

"With policies to coordinate pandemic control with economic and social development taking effect, the COVID-19 impact is expected to subdue gradually," Sheng said, citing positive signals already seen in power generation and consumption data.

Efforts should also be made to ensure stable supplies and prices, he said.