China's Central Economic Work Conference 2022
The Central Economic Working Conference is the annual meeting held every December, where China's top leaders meet to decide the economic and policy outlook for the year ahead. The conference, which is convened by the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council, lasts two to three days and discusses topics outlined by the Politburo Standing Committee.
The upcoming conference is particularly significant because it marks the first major economic meeting held by the Party's new leadership and is expected to focus on proactive fiscal and monetary policies and the continued easing of Coronavirus restrictions.
Analysts anticipated that the meeting could set a 5 or 5.5 percent GDP growth target for 2023, although it won't be disclosed until March 2023 during the annual legislative meeting. China has already abandoned its growth target of "around 5.5 percent" set for 2022, following coronavirus disruptions at a domestic level and weak global demand. The International Monetary Fund estimated China's economic growth to be 3.2 percent in 2022 and 4.4 percent in 2023, while Standard & Poor's forecast China's growth for 2022 to be 3.3 percent and projected 4.8 percent growth for 2023.
Proactive fiscal policy and maintaining supportive monetary policy will also be on the agenda, including faster public spending to mitigate Covid shocks, improve social welfare, support infrastructure projects and consumption, and roll out targeted tax and fee cuts for small and midsize enterprises.
Experts also expect a more favorable policy towards the property sector, which accounts for a quarter of the economy and has struggled with defaults and stalled projects. The government may call for continued financial and credit support, more regulatory relief for financial institutions' property credit exposure, more funding support for stalled projects, and more policy boosts for homebuyers.
Furthermore, a proactive approach to decarbonization with more policy and credit support for new energy investment and applications, support innovation and self-reliance in key technologies and supply chain security with favorable credit and tax measures, and push forward some policy initiatives for common prosperity, including support for the labor market, are key themes that will be discussed.