China's economic confidence stays strong
BEIJING - With growth resilient and progress made in the pursuit of high-quality development, economic confidence remains positive in China.
In the second quarter, business confidence among Chinese entrepreneurs continued to improve, according to a central bank survey. The entrepreneur confidence index climbed for the ninth straight quarter, rising to 75.8 from 74.2 in the first quarter.
The business climate index for Q2 held steady at 58.5 percent, 3.9 percentage points higher than the same period last year, the central bank said.
Optimism has spread among officials and economists.
"China has the conditions and capability to fulfill the annual target set at the beginning of the year and ensure the stable and long-term growth of the economy," said a National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) official.
GDP expanded 6.8 percent year on year in the Q1, above the target of around 6.5 percent.
The NDRC official pointed out that despite increasing uncertainties in the global markets, recovery in the world economy is likely to continue, offering more room for trade.
Foreign trade rose 8.6 percent year on year last month, accelerating from 7.1 percent in April. Retail sales of consumer goods grew by 8.5 percent.
"By cooperating with other countries in a more open manner, China is seeing improving external environment for its high-quality development," said Li Xunlei, chief economist with Zhongtai Securities.
Output of high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors grew 12 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively, in the first five months, substantially outpacing the 6.9 percent growth in overall industrial output.
Wen Jianwu, head of the department of industrial statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics, said the fact that high-tech industries make up a larger share of total industrial output is a sign of more favorable conditions.
Along with a stable economy, unemployment in urban areas declined to 4.8 percent in May, down 0.1 percentage points from April and 0.1 percentage points lower than last May.
Earlier this month, the World Bank upgraded its forecast for China's economic growth in 2018 to 6.5 percent, 0.1 percentage points higher than its January forecast.
The World Bank's latest China Economic Update said that economic activity had remained resilient, and new economy sectors are now more prominent sources of growth.
"The Chinese economy is performing well and reforms are making good progress," said David Lipton, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
"Given China's record of successful reforms in the past decades, and the authorities' strong commitment and determination, we are confident that China will rebalance to a sustainable growth model," he said upon concluding a visit to China last month.