China’s Xi says economic fundamentals strong as world awaits latest growth numbers

China’s long-term economic fundamentals remain sound despite downward growth pressure and recent financial market volatility, President Xi Jinping said.

Xi made the remarks at a symposium attended by ministers and provincial officials, adding that the new normal would be the major characteristic of the economy during the 13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), and a necessary course the economy must go through to realise higher, more balanced development, Xinhua reported.

As the economy expands, the growth rate will moderate, thus, its structure must be adjusted while the engines of growth must be shifted, Xi was reported as saying.

China’s economy rose 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015, slowing slightly from 7 percent in the second quarter and its lowest quarterly growth since the global financial crisis.

China is scheduled to release economic numbers for the last quarter and the whole of 2015 on Tuesday.

The Chinese economy is undergoing a painful slowdown, rattling global commodities and financial markets. Xi calls the slowdown “the new normal”, the essence of which is an improved economic structure that relies more on domestic consumption, the service sector and innovation.

Supply-side structural reform will advance economic restructuring by means of reform measures, while reducing noneffective and low-end supply as well as expanding effective and medium-to-high-end supply to boost productivity, Xi said, according to Xinhua.

Supply-side structural reform should focus on both supply and demand and facilitate the decisive role of the market in allocating resources, Xi said. It is crucial, Xi said, to cut overcapacity, promote industrial regrouping, reduce cost for enterprises, develop strategic emerging industries and the modern service sector, and increase the supply of public goods and services, Xinhua reported.

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