China economy to grow circa 7 pct in next five years: official

China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said the Chinese economy has entered a “new normal” stage in which the annual growth target will be about 7 percent in the coming four to five years.

In a written statement published on Saturday after the two-day G20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in Turkey, Mr Lou said China’s rapid growth rate of about 9 percent to 10 percent experienced in the past “is not sustainable”. He added that in the future consumption rather than investment and trade would drive the country’s economy.

“The Chinese economy has entered a ‘new normal’ status and the growth rate of the economy is predicted to be about 7 percent in the coming four to five years,” official news agency Xinhua quoted Mr Lou as saying.

Despite a slower growth, there were some positive changes in the economy, including 7 million new jobs created in the first half of this year, the official said.

Beijing will continue to implement a practical fiscal policy but “will not pay particular attention to seasonal short-term economic fluctuations,” said Mr Lou.

In the first half of this year the Chinese economy expanded at 7 percent, in line with the official target for 2015. Such a figure would nonetheless be the slowest annual growth recorded since 1990.