By Lu Yanan from People’s Daily
China’s average annual GDP growth was 7.2 percent from 2013 to 2016, making it the highest among major global economies, above the 2.6 percent overall and 4 percent of developing economies, the head of the National Bureau of Statistics, Ning Jizhe, said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
Because of its momentum, Ning said, China should see "no problem" with hitting its economic growth target of 6.5 percent, in 2017, and may even have better results.
Over the past few years, the economy’s average annual growth rate was 7.2 percent, with inflation and unemployment rates stood at around 2% and 5% respectively, Ning noted, adding that such high rate of growth, expanded employment and low prices are the signs of an outstanding achievement.
China is clearly making a very big contribution to the global economy. For example, in 2016, its GDP accounted for 14.8 percent of the world economy (3.4 percent higher than that in 2012), reinforcing China’s ranking as the world’s second largest economy. From 2013 to 2016, China's contribution to world economic growth stood at around 30 percent, on average, surpassing the U.S, Eurozone and Japan combined.
The service industry has accounted for around half of the nation’s economy. In the first half of 2017, added value output in tertiary industries accounted for 54.1 percent of the GDP. Consumption has become the major driving force of growth, with an annual contribution of 55 percent to overall growth from 2013 to 2016 on average.
The coordinated development of urban and rural areas has also demonstrated new positive signs, with China's urbanization rate by the end of 2016 standing at 57.35 percent, or 4.8 percentage points higher than that of the end of 2012.
There are multiple reasons for China’s success with these eye-catching achievements over the past five years. Some new development concepts have contributed to the arrival of the “new normal” phase. Innovation-driven development is one example. In 2016, the number of domestic and overseas patent applications increased by 69.0 percent, and authorizations, by 39.7 percent, compared to 2012.
At the same time, China has made an effort to reduce overcapacity, cut inventory, and lower costs by promoting supply-side structural reforms, and has managed to rebalance supply and demand in specific industries and promote economic balance as a whole, Ning said.
In addition, people's livelihoods have improved remarkably, and the economic development has benefited everyone, after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
In 2016, annual per capita income was 23,821 yuan ($3,621) nation-wide, an increase of 7,311 yuan from 2012, with an average annual growth of 7.4 percent.
Also in 2016, the Engel coefficient，an indicator of people’s living standard, was 30.1 percent, a fall of 2.9 percentage points compared to 2012, which is close to the United Nations’ well-off mark of 20 - 30 percent.
The country has made major achievement in poverty alleviation through targeted measures. According to the rural poverty line of 2,300 yuan (adjusted for inflation), the number of rural people living in poverty was 43.35 million in 2016, a reduction of 55.64 million from 2012.
The social security system has also been improved. In 2016, the amount of health care expenses that individuals had to cover dropped to less than 30 percent of the total. There is now a basic medical insurance system that covers all the population in both urban and rural areas.
The education level has continued to rise as the medical and health conditions improve and China's average life expectancy had gone up to 76.3 years in 2015, from 74.8 years in 2010.