4、3月10日下午，教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地――厦门大学宏观经济研究中心(CMR) Seminar Series (2016) 在经济楼A501会议室如期开讲，中心王燕武副教授、余长林副教授分别基于中心2月25日在京召开的“2016中国宏观经济高层研讨会暨‘中国季度宏观经济模型（CQMM）春季预测发布会’”内容，进行了以“中国宏观经济预测与分析”和“中国宏观经济形势与政策问卷调查报告”为主题的汇报。
5、3月22日下午，教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地――厦门大学宏观经济研究中心(CMR) Seminar Series (2016) 第三讲在经济楼A501会议室如期举行，中心副主任林致远教授就其最新研究成果《跨越“中等收入陷阱”：基于人力资本视角的考察》进行了汇报。
6、4月5日下午，教育部人文社会科学重点研究基地――厦门大学宏观经济研究中心(CMR) Seminar Series (2016) 第四讲在经济楼A501举行，中国社会科学院财经战略研究院研究员、学术期刊创新工程总编辑，中国社会科学院研究生院教授、财经系主任杨志勇以“大国财政之谜：理解中国财政”为题，从理解中国财政、大国财政演变的逻辑、大国财政的走向等三个方面进行梳理和探讨，并且阐明中国财政改革面临的阻力和突围的方向。
阶段性成果之一：《China's Macroeconomic Outlook, September 2016》（李文溥等，施普林格出版社，2015年12月）
内容摘要：In the first half of 2015, the slowdown of investment growth rate in the mining industry, manufacturing industry and real estate sector suppressed the overall investment growth rate directly. Due to the uncertainty of the global market, the export also grew sluggishly. Moreover, the expansion of consumption demand was hindered by the decline of the growth rate of urban and rural residential real income to some extent. With downward pressure on economic growth, the cumulative growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) reached 7.0%, a decrease of 0.42 percentage points over the previous year, reaching its nadir since 2000.
Along with the slowdown of economic growth, problems arise. First, with the loose monetary policy over the first half of 2015, the sharp decline of private investment growth reflected that the efficiency of allocating credit resources in the financial sector is poor and the monetary policy transmission channels are somehow inefficient. Secondly, the deflation in the industrial sector has been lasting for almost four years, enlarging the regional inequality of economy and society. Thirdly, owing to the decline of economic growth, the residential income growth slowed down and the fiscal revenue growth declined sharply. These factors will further prevent the economy from growing rapidly in the short term. Lastly, the share of the tertiary industry in GDP has been rising gradually, which kept employment rate from declining to some degree. However, the labor productivity in the tertiary industry has been lower than that of the secondary industry for a long time. If China want to achieve a steady potential growth in the next ten years, it was crucial to improve the labor productivity in the tertiary industry while adjusting the economic structure.
Though the downward pressure on economic growth remained, the adjustments of the economic structures began to take effect, and the economy was growing stably after hitting the bottom. Firstly, the share of the tertiary industry in the GDP kept growing, which helped to alleviate the pressure of unemployment caused by economic downturn. Secondly, while the investment growth rate declined, the structure of investment was getting optimized. On one hand, among all the investments, the shares of investment in the primary and the tertiary industry were increasing little by little, while that in the secondary industry was gradually shrinking. On the other hand, the share of the private investment was growing, and the structure of investment was getting optimized. Thirdly, high-tech industry was booming, and its share in the whole industry was growing, too. Lastly, new progress in energy saving had been made. These facts showed that China's economy was adapting to the changes of the market environment and new momentums and space for economic development were emerging.
In 2015, based on the forecast by CQMM, it is very possible for China’s GDP to achieve the targeted growth rate of 7%, despite of the downward economic pressure. We anticipate that the economic growth rate will reach around 7.10%, a slight decline of 0.3 percentage points over the previous year. The CPI will be 1.62%, indicating a low level of inflation. The gross export calculated by current USD dollar is expected to increase by 1.87%, a decline of 3.7 percentage points over the previous year. The gross import growth rate may fall to -12.24%, a significant drop of 12.97 percentage points over the previous year. The net export is about to contribute 2.47% of the GDP. The growth in fixed assets investment will remain sluggish, with the anticipation that urban fixed assets investment will increase by 11.21% calculated by current price, a decline of 3.99 percentage points over the previous year. The total retail sales of social consumer goods calculated by current price is going to increase by 10.07%, a slight drop of 1.90 percentage points over the previous year.
With the continuous advance of China's market-oriented reform, private investment is playing an important role in stabilizing investment growth and improving investment efficiency, and thereby helping the economy to grow steadily. The private investment has grown faster than the total fixed assets investment since 2012. Besides, the private investment was adjusting its structure following the changes of the macro environment and the economic transition. The share of private investment in the primary and the tertiary industry grew rapidly, and was also rising sharply in the equipment and high-tech manufacturing industry. The fast growth and the optimizing structure of private investment were promoting the upgrade and transformation of industrial structure greatly.
However, with the loose monetary policy in the first half of 2015, the private investment growth was declining sharply. In contrast, the investment from state-owned enterprises kept growing steadily, and investment from enterprises funded by Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan started to rise. The allocation of credit resources based on indirect financing is still not conducive to the expansion of private investment demand.
In private sector, the problem of “difficult financing, expensive financing” remains. Although the share of equity financing in the first half year has increased significantly, its size was still limited. The channels of direct financing were restricted. The channels of indirect financing are barely strong enough to support the expansion of the private investment demand, although the monetary policy has ensured sufficient interbank liquidity and low cost of financing.
It was well-known that resource allocation in the financial sectors was lack of efficiency and not beneficial for the non-state-owned enterprises. Since 2014, China has excised targeted monetary expansion policies, which are only able to help agricultural and small businesses. They cannot essentially improve the efficiency of allocating credit resource. We believe that interest rate liberalization is the only way to improve the efficiency of credit resource allocation, so that the market can satisfy the demand for the expansion of private investment, improve the investment efficiency, and promote the economic growth.
In simulations, CQMM made the following assumptions: during the three years from 2012 to 2014, the ceiling of the deposit interest rate had been canceled so that the deposit-loan interest margin would have been narrowed. For example, the real interest margin was 3.06 percentage points in 2012. CQMM assumed that it had become 1.53 percentage points over the three years due to interest rate liberalization. It can be found that the loan interest rate would not have increased by much. On one hand, small interest margin would depress the investment growth. Therefore, the economic growth would have been affected slightly. On the other hand, the increase of deposit rate could have boosted consumption through the income effect, followed by a higher share of consumption in the GDP. What’s more, a rise of the deposit rate would have benefited rural residents more in terms of income growth than urban residents, helping to narrow the urban-rural income gap. As a consequence, under the condition that the systematic risks get controlled, the interest rate liberalization on the economy would be positive, because the advantages would far overweigh its disadvantages.
During the period of the Thirteenth Five-year Plan (2016-2020), the realization of potential economic growth will depend much on the improvement of labor productivity and the speed up of private real income During this period, the reform of the mixed-ownership economy will promote private investment, integrate social resources more efficiently and boost the economy. The strategies of "Made in China 2050" and the new measures of regional planning will benefit the labor productivity in manufacturing. The acceleration of interest rate liberalization and the optimization of capital market will improve the efficiency of allocating financial resource. The ‘Internet Plus’ will improve the productivity in the tertiary industry. At the same time, items required government review and approval are getting cut, which will further stimulate China’s growth potential, creating advantageous conditions for the development in the next five or ten years and thus avoid the middle-income trap.
Based on the production function, the research team forecasts that the annual potential growth rate will reach 6.91% in 2015 and will be around 6.79% in average during 2016-2020. Although it is a relative high speed, it can be further increased through continuing economic structure optimization. First, if the reform of the mixed-ownership succeeds in expanding private investment and its share in total investment reaches 34.1% each year, an increase of one percentage point over the previous year, and the annual potential growth rate will be 6.82% in average, an increase of 0.3 percentage points compared to the benchmark model. Secondly, if we invest more in the tertiary industry, increasing its share in the total investment increase to 70.0% by 2020 from 56.2% in 2014, and if the productivity of the tertiary industry relative to the secondary industry can be increased by 5% each year, then the economic potential growth rate will reach 6.8%, an increase of 0.1 percentage point over the benchmark model for each year. Lastly, if the average years of education of an employee can be increased to 11.2 years in 2020 from 9.89 years in 2014, then the potential growth rate can reach 7.13%, 0.34 percentage points higher that the baseline model.
After investigating the potential growth rate for the next two years, we find that the economic growth trend is not too pessimistic, though China’s economy will still face the uncertainty of global market, the pressure of domestic production overcapacity in manufacturing industry and excess supply of real estate sector. There is little probability that the economic growth rate will decline dramatically. Taking 7% as the target of economic growth, we should optimize economic structure with constant and flexible policies and thus create favorable environment for future development.
During the next several years, investment expansion will still play an important role in promoting economic development. However,only by expanding the private investment can we improve the investment efficiency. Therefore, as for the monetary policy, we should insist on the in financial reform and promote multiple competitions while promoting the interest rate liberalization with the systematic risks getting controlled. What is more, the efficiency of resource allocation should be improved and the demand for the expansion of emerging industries and the private investment should be satisfied.
For the fiscal policy, it is important to continue corporate tax reduction to make sure that the private investment increases steadily. More importantly, we must promote the reform of mixed-ownership so as to stimulate the economy by integrating social resources, and it is necessary to accelerate the reform of the government administration in the service sector and open its investment fields, especially to develop the industries, which can satisfy basic demands of the people.
In recent years, the share of the tertiary industry in the GDP has been gradually rising, which ensured a stable employment to some extent. However, the labor productivity is still lower in the tertiary industry than in the secondary industry. This is why the economic growth slows down though the share of the tertiary industry climbing up. Therefore, it becomes a key issue to promote the share of modern service industry and the efficiency of the financial sector so that we can improve the productivity of the tertiary industry, and thus make sure that the potential growth rate of the GDP can be kept at a stable level.
Finally, improving the labor productivity is the most essential way to guarantee that urban and rural residential income grows rapidly. At the same time, only the rapid growth of the residential income can effectively help to accumulate human capital and improve the labor productivity. What’s more, the improvement of labor productivity will in turn accelerate private income growth and human capital expansion, creating favorable conditions for the development of economy, the adjustment of economic structure, and the transformation of growth pattern.