|A road under construction in Bozhou, Anhui province. The central government will increase investment in such projects to improve living standards and upgrade cities' infrastructure. Railway construction will also be accelerated in the second half.ZHANG YANLIN / FOR CHINA DAILY|
The economy appears to have staged a modest rebound last month that will continue through the second half, driven by better corporate conditions along the eastern coast, a top-level government economist said.
GDP growth in the second half may accelerate, but not by much, with the figure expected to be near 7.5 percent, Fan Jianping, chief economist at the State Information Center under the National Development and Reform Commission, told a news conference on Wednesday. The center is a government think tank.
Operating conditions have improved lately for companies in eastern regions of the country, Fan said. That was partly reflected in the rate of industrial output growth in July — 9.7 percent, the fastest speed in five months.
He described the situation as "complex but stable overall" in the first seven months.
"China will not experience an economic crisis as long as growth remains above 7 percent," Fan stressed.
"Because the potential economic growth rate is estimated at about 8 percent, chasing double-digit growth now is incompatible with the real situation."
Growth of the world's second-largest economy has run between 7.4 and 7.9 percent for five quarters now, and that will be the "new normal" for the long term, Fan said.
He said the weak global recovery, together with the domestic economic structural adjustment, will mean pressure in the near term.
During that time, the government is determined to focus on revitalizing companies, instead of stimulating fixed-asset investment.