【英语中国】中国不应纠结于增长目标 Leader_China’s dangerous need for speed

  • A+
所属分类:双语中国

2014-3-11 09:13

小艾摘要: Since taking power last year, the new leadership in Beijing has insisted that it will place less emphasis on how fast China expands, and put a greater focus on the quality of its economic growth. Xi J ...
Leader_China’s dangerous need for speed
Since taking power last year, the new leadership in Beijing has insisted that it will place less emphasis on how fast China expands, and put a greater focus on the quality of its economic growth. Xi Jinping, president, and Li Keqiang, premier, have both stressed that China must reduce its addiction to cheap credit, lower its reliance on business investment and pay more attention to the quality of life of its citizens, for example by taking concrete steps to reduce pollution levels.

Yet when these declarations faced their first meaningful test last week, China’s leaders blinked. Last week at the National People’s Congress, the same assembly that 12 months ago elevated Messrs Li and Xi to their current roles, the government announced it would aim for a growth rate of 7.5 per cent this year. This is the same target as in 2013, when the economy expanded by 7.7 per cent.

China’s growth targets are, to some extent, a relic of the past. Over the past decade these have rarely been a real guide to policy, as the economy cruised faster than the leadership had planned. But at a time of slower expansion, these indicators provide useful guidance over China’s direction of travel. Beijing could have opted for a lower target – say, 7 per cent – or a range, which would have given the government greater room to slow down its overheating economy. That the government stuck to an ambitious target means the transition to a more sustainable growth path will have to wait.

The trouble for Beijing is that, in the early part of this year, the economy has already shown signs of weakness. Activity in the manufacturing sector hit a seven-month low in February, according to HSBC’s purchasing managers' index. Trade data paint a less clear-cut picture, with strong export gains in January followed by a contraction last month. However, investors remain sceptical of these indicators, given the growing tendency among Chinese companies to boost their invoices fictitiously as a way to avoid capital controls. Overall, the fear is that the leadership will sooner or later have to stimulate the economy to meet its preordained target, just as it did in the summer of 2013. Already there are signs that the People’s Bank of China has eased monetary policy: money market rates, which jumped in December, have fallen sharply.

Injecting more liquidity into the system would provide breathing space for the large state-owned enterprises and local governments, which are struggling to repay the loans accumulated following the 2009 monetary stimulus. It would also keep social unrest at bay, as businesses would be able to create jobs for the millions of migrants who every year leave the countryside for the cities. Yet a new stimulus would spur the rate of credit growth, which continued to accelerate in January. It would also add to the debt stock, which over the past five years has nearly doubled, climbing from 130 to 210 per cent of national income.

For these reasons, Beijing should hold off on fresh stimulus, even if it means letting its growth target slip. What it should do instead is insist on measures that give the signal that investors will face the consequences of loans going sour. The decision to let solar-panel maker Shanghai Chaori Solar default – the first such instance in recent Chinese history – will help introduce much-needed discipline in a market that has too often enjoyed the luxury of bailouts.

China faces a difficult balancing act between pushing too hard on the brake – which could cause a wave of defaults – and continuing to fuel its credit addiction. But chasing overambitious targets is not the answer. China will eventually have to rebalance its economy towards a more sustainable model. The sooner it starts to turn, the less dangerous the process will be.

自去年上任以来,中国新一届领导班子一直坚称,它将降低对中国经济扩张速度的注重,转而更加注重经济增长的质量。国家主席习近平和总理李克强都强调,中国必须减小“廉价信贷瘾”,降低其对商业投资的依赖,转而更多关注公民的生活质量,例如采取具体步骤降低污染程度。

然而,当这些声明在上周面临第一次有意义的考验时,中国领导人眨了眼睛。在上周的全国人大年会上(12个月前的人大年会正式推选习近平和李克强出任现职),政府宣布今年的经济增长目标为7.5%。这与2013年的目标相同,该年经济实际增长7.7%。

在某种程度上,中国的经济增长目标是过去的遗留物。在过去10年里,它们很少成为真正的政策指南,因为经济增长速度快于领导层的规划。但在扩张放缓之际,这些指标提供了有关中国走向的有用指引。中国领导层本来可以选择一个较低的目标,比如7%,或者提出一个区间,让政府有更大的空间减缓正趋向过热的经济。政府坚守一个雄心勃勃的目标意味着,向更可持续的增长路径转型的政策将不得不等下去。

对北京方面来说,麻烦在于今年初中国经济已显示出疲软迹象。汇丰(HSBC)的采购经理指数(PMI)显示,2月中国制造业活动触及7个月低点。贸易数据描绘一幅不太明确的画面,1月出口强劲增长,而上月出现收缩。不过,鉴于中国企业越来越倾向于为了绕过资本管制而在发票中作假,投资者对这些指标仍持怀疑态度。总体来说,人们担心的是领导层迟早要为了达到预设的目标而刺激经济,就像它在2013年夏天所做的那样。目前已有迹象表明,中国央行已放松货币政策:曾在去年12月飙升的货币市场利率近来大幅下滑。

向金融体系注入更多的流动性,将为大型国有企业和地方政府提供喘息空间,它们正在艰难偿还2009年货币刺激政策后积累的贷款。此举也将有效遏制社会不安定,因为企业将能够为每年数以百万计的进城务工人员创造就业机会。然而,一波新的刺激将刺激信贷增长速度,中国信贷增长在1月份继续加速。它也将加大债务存量,过去5年里,中国的债务存量增加近一倍,其与国民收入的比率从130%升至210%。

由于这些原因,中国领导层应当避免出台新的刺激——即使这意味着达不到增长目标。它应该做的是坚持采取发出“投资者将面临不良贷款后果”这一信号的措施。让太阳能电池板制造商上海超日太阳能(Shanghai Chaori Solar)违约(这是近年中国首例违约)的决定,将有助于在一个过于频繁地坐享纾困的市场引入亟需的纪律。

中国面临着棘手的权衡拿捏:一方面是过猛地踩刹车,可能导致一波违约,另一方面是继续助燃其信贷瘾。但追逐过于雄心勃勃的目标不是办法。中国最终将不得不推动经济再平衡,使其转向更可持续的模式。越早开始转型,整个过程的危险性就越小。

译者/和风

本文关键字:双语阅读,小艾英语,双语网站,双语中国,实时资讯,互联网新闻,ERWAS,行业解析,创业指导,营销策略,英语学习,可以双语阅读的网站!
  • 我的微信
  • 扫一扫加关注
  • weinxin
  • 微信公众号
  • 扫一扫加关注
  • weinxin

发表评论

:?: :razz: :sad: :evil: :!: :smile: :oops: :grin: :eek: :shock: :???: :cool: :lol: :mad: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :neutral: :cry: :mrgreen: