Amid both warm hopes and quiet concerns about downward pressures on growth, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently released some key economic indexes for the first half of 2014. With the release of these indicators, many were relieved to see the country's economy has managed to put up a good fight.
China's first-half GDP, the combined market value of all final goods and services produced during the year's first six months, grew a healthy 7.4 percent year on year—arguably the best possible figure given the economic difficulties the country faces both at home and abroad. Foreign trade totaled $2 trillion, registering $102 billion in trade surplus, while the agriculture and manufacturing sectors and the services industry all grew, with the share of services in the GDP rising up to a stunning 46.6 percent. However, the consumer price index—a main gauge to measure inflation—grew 2.3 percent, necessitating that authorities take tougher action against the destabilizing factor in the nation's second-half economic outlook.
Over the past decades, China has registered phenomenal economic growth, which quite often came at a two-digit pace. This has enabled the country to quickly overtake some of the world's leading economies within a relatively short period of time, and eventually edged itself into the ranks of global powerhouses with growing strength.
In the meantime, however, the development model that China largely relied upon for its legendary success has come under fire. A wide array of pressing issues—ranging from mounting overcapacity to an excessive reliance on resources, from unbalanced and outdated industrial structures to the continually worsening environment—have all prominently surfaced following the dazzling growth figures. Overall, this has rendered China's growth less vital and its development model highly unsustainable.
Taking into account the grave situation, the Chinese leadership has decided in recent years to adopt drastic measures with an eye to bettering the prospects for future development. Since Premier Li Keqiang assumed office in March last year, a slew of reform measures have been carried out across the country, many of which centered on deregulating the market, tightening credit grips, and upgrading development patterns. These are some of the core elements of what has been dubbed "Likonomics," aimed at bringing the Chinese economy back onto a healthier and more sustainable track.
During a briefing to the press, an NBS spokesman described the economy in the first half as "stable," and the industrial structural readjustments and upgrading as "gaining good momentum." Hopefully, more widespread effects derived from Likonomics will appear in the second half and beyond, as more and deeper market reform endeavors are carried out.