China pressures economists to inject ‘positive energy’ into their outlooks
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China pressures economists to inject ‘positive energy’ into their outlooks

CHINESE authorities have put new pressure on economists, analysts, and business reporters to lighten their commentary on China’s faltering economy.

Securities regulators, media censors, and various other government officials have reportedly issued verbal warnings to those who regularly comment on the country’s economy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Commentators are expected to portray the economic situation in line with the Chinese government’s upbeat statements, say those with knowledge on the matter.

The WSJ reports that the stepped-up censorship comes as China’s leadership attempts to quash concerns and rumours that the economy is struggling, having experienced a prolonged slowdown in growth.

Party officials have dubbed the new effort by regulators and censors to foster a more positive environment and outlook as “zhengnengliang”, or “positive energy”.

A man rubs his head while browsing his smartphone outside a brokerage house in Beijing. Pic: AP.

A man rubs his head while browsing his smartphone outside a brokerage house in Beijing. Pic: AP.

China’s economy, which is the the second largest economy in the world, has been under close scrutiny since it began losing steam in 2015.

As of March 2016, data from two major private and official indexes indicated a worsening contraction in the country’s manufacturing industry.

The data showed activity in the sector shrinking for seven months in a row in February, and was released a day after the central bank reduced the reserve ratio for banks.

Former loan officer Bryson, 31, told the Washington-based National Public Radio that the government bank he used to work at has seen its entire revenue decrease, while the number of non-performing loans was increasing.

He said: “China hasn’t found a new economic growth engine. If I had to use a word to describe the current state, it would be ‘confusion’.

Bryson, who requested the radio station not to use his last name, added that he was unsure of the direction in which China will be heading.