BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhuanet) — In the last two weeks, the economic data released by the National Bureau of Statistics have prompted some west media and analysts’ speculation that China’s economy has yet to bottom.

However, they neglected some positive signals and the fact that the decelerated growth rate is the anticipated consequence of the government’s active control as China is undergoing a structural shift from resources- and investment-driven growth to a more balanced and more sustainable pattern.

Decelerated pace of growth

The weak growth of three major drivers of China’s traditional economic growth — investment, exports and consumption — were the main targets for those who were pessimistic towards China’s future economy.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, fixed asset investment in urban areas increased 20.2 percent year-on-year in the first four months, the slowest pace since the 17.4-percent growth recorded in 2002.

In year-on-year terms, FDI edged down 0.74 percent to 8.4 billion U.S. dollars in April, following a 6.1 percent drop in March, 0.9 percent in February and 0.3 percent in January.

The trade surplus continued to shrink, amounting to 21.9 billion U.S. dollars for the first four months of 2012, or less than 1 percent of GDP.

Meanwhile, manufacturing activities were also at their lowest levels in April since May 2009 as industrial production rose by 9.3 percent, while retail sales increased by 14.1 percent, the weakest in 14 months. And power output growth, a core measure of economic activity, slowed to less than 1 percent.

The lower-than-expected 8.1-percent GDP data sent some shock waves to analysts at home and abroad.

These downward figures dampened some investors’ confidence. Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut China’s full year gross domestic product growth forecasts from 8.6 percent to 8.0 percent.

But analysts hold different point of view.

“I don’t think a month or two of bad economic data means the government has lost its ability to manage things,” said Andrew Batson, an analyst with the Beijing-based Dragonomics consultancy.

With respect to the FDI drop, “there are various reasons (behind the drop in FDI),” said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang, at a news briefing on Tuesday.

“We are now entering a period where we choose the foreign investment,” rather than absorb all types of foreign investment, Shen said.

Teng Tai, economist of China Minzu Securities, said the continuous FDI declines were normal as the country changed its foreign investment policy from the pursuit of “quantity” to “quality.”