News / Economy

China‘s Economy Keeps 7.7 Percent Growth in 2013

A truck transporting a container leaves the port of Qingdao, in northeast China's Liaoning province, Jan. 20, 2014.
A truck transporting a container leaves the port of Qingdao, in northeast China's Liaoning province, Jan. 20, 2014.
William Ide
Chinese officials say the country’s economy maintained a flat growth of 7.7 percent last year, matching the weakest annual performance since 1999. The slowdown comes as China’s leaders seek to push a wide range of reforms that could slow the country’s growth even further.
 
China’s annual growth for 2013 was still stronger than Japan, the United States or Europe.
 
Chinese officials were quick to put a positive spin on the number, noting that it was still above their projection of 7.5 percent.
 
Ma Jiantan, director of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, said it is no simple task to keep growth at 7.7 percent and the increase in the price of goods at 2.6 percent, but that is what China has done. And it is something that is unique in the entire world, he added.
 
Ma said China’s ability to continue to see stable growth for its economy highlights the effectiveness of the central government’s efforts to promote reform as it gradually adjusts the Chinese economy.

China GDP growth, 2010 - 2013China GDP growth, 2010 - 2013
x
China GDP growth, 2010 - 2013
China GDP growth, 2010 - 2013
Up until recently, the economy was seeing double-digit annual growth, lifted up by heavy investment and reliance on exports. But now, China is seeking to shift away from that model to focus on an approach that is more balanced between exports and domestic demand.
 
They are seeking an economy that relies less on state control and allows market forces freer play.
 
Economists expect  China’s growth  to continue to slow in the coming years, but the rate at which it slows depends on several factors.
 
One of the key challenges this year is managing the country’s rapidly expanding local government debt, analysts say.
 
China says its local governments have amassed about $3 trillion in debt, and the central government is tightening credit and cracking down on unregulated lenders known as shadow banks.
 
Shen Jianguang, an economist at Mizuho Securities Asia, said a big risk for this year is a sharp deceleration in investment. “I think the Chinese government, especially the central bank has a great dilemma now, because on the one hand they need to deleverage and crack down on shadow banking activity, but on the other hand they also need to make sure this isolated credit default event will not evolve into a full blown financial crisis,” said Shen.
 
While reforms could create opportunities, they also could slow growth. China has long pinned its evaluation of local officials on their ability to grow the economy.
 
The central government now is shifting its focus away from economic growth, though, to areas such as environmental protection and local officials' ability to contain debt. That, economists say, also could weaken investment and slow growth.
 
At the same time, analysts say the recovery of the U.S. economy and improvements in Europe could help to breath some life back into China’s exports.
 
In an earlier version of this story we incorrectly reported that China's growth was down slightly from last year. In fact it was flat from last year. VOA regrets the error.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dorean from: USA
January 21, 2014 10:18 AM
if you believe that - than you are primed for a rude awakening... China is an imploding carcase. it is a diseased imposthumed stinking filth in a vat of corruption.

by: MikeBarnett from: USA
January 20, 2014 2:20 PM
China moves gradually toward a consumer-driven economy. Xinhua reports that retail sales rose 13.1%, almost twice the GDP growth rate of 7.7%. However, the leaders want to take their time because the experience of the EU and the US over the past 14 years does not inspire confidence in an unregulated private sector. The Dot Bomb Bubble of 2000, Corporate Scandals of 2002-2003, and the Financial Scandals of 2008 to the present have caused China's two biggest trade partners, the EU and the US, to inflict recessions and sluggish growth on themselves that have hindered China's growth, so China's economic problems were not caused solely by China.

Further, China has not pursued the two badly fought wars and numerous military interventions that the US and EU have inflicted on themselves. For over 12 years, the US and NATO (EU) have destroyed their computers, cell phones, and digital cameras in their smart munitions; destroyed their ground and air vehicles; burned billions of gallons of their gasoline, diesel fuel, and aviation fuel; wasted billions of their man hours in unproductive work; and inflicted tens of thousands of casualties on themselves and others for which compensation and long term health care must be provided. These costly western conflicts are not the fault of China, but Beijing and Moscow have helped the US and EU avoid expensive debacles in Syria and Iran, so the West has a chance to recover their economies from their military follies. Hopefully, the end of the western quagmires should help China recover its trade with its two biggest trade partners, the EU and the US.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9238
JPY
USD
119.51
GBP
USD
0.6614
CAD
USD
1.2119
INR
USD
63.562

Rates may not be current.