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Brief #133: Central Economic Work Conference 2022

The 2022 Central Economic Work Conference was held in Beijing between December 15 and 16. This note is separated into three sections: 1) briefing, 2) translation of the meeting readout, and 3) annotations on the meeting readout.

The Central Economic Work Conference is China's most authoritative economic policy work conference. It is convened jointly by the Central Committee and the State Council.

Since 1994, the conference has been held annually, usually in December. The conference is attended by leaders from the central and provincial party and state organs, the military and state-owned enterprises.

The conference serves three official functions:

1. reviewing the current year’s economic policy work;
2. analysing the current economic situation; and
3. making arrangements for economic policy work for the next year.

Importantly, the conference readout presents Beijing’s official public assessment of China's economic situation and its economic policy priorities for the upcoming year.


This year's Central Economic Work Conference was held amid uncertainties about China's economic outlook and the COVID situation.

We have some pretty clear signals from the conference on Beijing's assessment of the economic situation and policy priorities for 2023. First, let's see how Beijing's assessment has changed over the last year:

2022 Central Economic Work Conference assessment

2021 Central Economic Work Conference assessment

“the foundation of China's economic recovery is not yet solid, and the three-fold pressure of shrinking demand, supply shocks and weakening expectations remains substantial. The volatile external environment has had a deepening impact on China’s economy.

[But China’s] economy is resilient and has great potential and vitality, the effects of various policies are emerging [or] continuing to be felt, and overall economic performance is expected to rebound next year.”


“[China's] economic development is facing triple pressure from shrinking demand, supply shocks and weakening expectations. Due to the impact of a once-in-a-century pandemic and accelerated evolution of the major changes [unfolding in the world], [China’s] external environment has become more complex, severe and uncertain. [But China’s] economic resilience is strong, and the long-term positive fundamentals will not change.”


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