China’s Communist Party set a key meeting on economic policy for November, providing a focus for investors seeking details on how the leadership will support a slowing economy.
The Beijing plenary meeting of the party’s Central Committee, which includes President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, government ministers and the heads of the biggest state-owned enterprises and banks, will discuss deepening reforms, according to a report last night from the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
The November gathering will be the third full meeting of the current Central Committee. It was at such a third plenum in late 1978 that Deng Xiaoping and his allies inaugurated a series of economic reforms that began to open up China to foreign investment and loosen state controls over the economy.
“We expect a comprehensive list of reforms to be provided,” Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong, said in a note today. The changes will be “critically important for the economic outlook,” Zhang said.
China’s leadership has already said that it will rely on forces such as urbanization to sustain expansion in coming years as the population ages and higher wages erode manufacturers’ global competitiveness. Statements from the November meeting may flesh out details, as investors look for clues on reforms, such as to the household-registration, or hukou, system which impedes labor mobility.
The Xinhua report cited a statement from the Communist Party’s Political Bureau following a meeting yesterday. The body of the 25 top party officials also approved a five-year plan through 2017 for improving anti-corruption efforts, Xinhua said, one day after the graft trial of ousted Politburo member Bo Xilai concluded with prosecutors calling for a severe punishment.
Big shifts in economic policy must be ratified by the Central Committee, a group of about 200 people picked every five years by a party congress and from whose ranks come the top civilian and military officials in China.