China's Macroeconomic Outlook and Risk Assessment: Counterfactual Analysis, Policy Simulation, and Long-Term GovernanceA Summary of Annual Report (2015C2016)
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This summary report highlights the confluence of continued downward pressures and deflation scares in the face of looming uncertainty in Chinas key macroeconomic landscapes. Counterfactual analyses and policy simulations are conducted, in addition to benchmark forecasts, based on IAR-CMM model and taking into account both cyclical and secular factors. Economic deceleration is projected to continue in the short to medium term, with real GDP growth declining to 6.3% (5.5% using more reliable instead of official data) in 2016 and facing a significant risk of sliding further down in 2017. Five key factors contributing to the weak outlook, additional to frictions and impediments associated with economic transition/restructuring and lackluster domestic/external demands, are identified, including: lack of new growth/ development engine, exhaustion of government-led driving force, the crowding-out of private sectors by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) with excess capacitycapital overhang, nonperforming government sectors and officials, and twist or misinterpretation of the New Normal. A root cause of these problems, lying with sluggishness in Chinas transformation into a market based economy, has to do with overpowered government but underpowered market in resource allocation and government underperformance in enforcing integrity and transparency in the marketplace and in providing public goods and services. At the nexus between inclusive growth and institutional transformation are market oriented and rule of law governed structural reforms and harmonious development. As such, fundamental institutional reforms that dialectically balance demand and supply side factors and properly weigh short run stabilization against long run development should be elevated to the top of the agenda.