After a disappointing performance in 2018, China’s economy appears to be stabiliz
ing. In the first quarter of 2019, GDP growth, at 6.4 percent year-on-year, matched that of the previous quarter. But grow
th in industrial production exceeded expectations, expanding by 6.5 percent year-on-year (and by 8.5 percent in Mar
ch). Even exports growth was positive, albeit weak, despite the ongoing trade frictions with the United States.
Moreover, fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew by 6.3 percent－0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous quar
ter. Investment in real estate grew the fastest (11.8 percent), followed by manufacturing (4.6 percent) and in
frastructure (4.4 percent). The growth of investment both in real estate and infrastru
cture was stronger not only sequentially, but also year-on-year. As usual, consumption growth was stable.
whose annual net income was less than 200 yuan ($30) were defined as living below the p
overty line in China in 1985. The line was raised to less than 2,300 yuan by 2011.
Second, how are policies designed to help the poorest people? Chinese policies aim to give the poor a roof over their heads, guarantee
food, clothing and basic medical services, and provide their children with nine years of compulsory education.
Funds and resources have been made available for agricultural subsidies and cheap loans to rural far
mers. Funds also went into rural revitalization, to integrate regional development and build infrast
ructure connecting villages to markets so that farmers could sell their products more easily. Villagers have been enco
uraged to be innovative, with incentives and loans for them to become self-employed and to set up micro-businesses.
Moreover, teams of officials have been traveling to faraway and isolated rural areas to help individual
s and families with individualized plans that target specific problems, such as whether there is ill
ness or disability in the household. In other words, China has not taken a “one-size-fits-all” approach for the tough cases.