China’s Hu Pledges More Imports to Boost World Growth

After a drop in real estate prices, decreased exports, and slowed inflation in October, Chinese President Hu Jintao is pushing for increased imports to balance the economy and encourage growth. At the APEC forum, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min and National Economic Research Institute Director Fan Gang, claimed that China’s economy is moving towards a “soft landing”. Bloomberg reports:

“It has become ever clearer that the Chinese economy is moving to a soft landing,” Zhu said. “The Chinese economy today is really moving to an inflection point, moving to more services and capital-intensive economy.”

Zhu and Fan, speaking on the same APEC panel, said economic expansion would slow from the 9.1 percent growth in the third quarter of this year, with Fan saying sustainable growth in gross domestic product was about 8 percent. Their forecast for a soft landing is in contrast with some observers including hedge fund manager Jim Chanos, who has forecast since at least February 2010 that the property market will slump, saying that China is on a “treadmill to hell” because of its reliance on real estate for growth.

“We must be firmly committed to maintaining growth and promoting stability, with a special emphasis on ensuring strong growth in order to add momentum to the economic development in the Asia Pacific and beyond,” Hu said. China will “focus more on increasing imports while maintaining a stable level of exports.”

See also: Real Estate Prices Tumble as China Government Tries to Contain Bubble via CDT.