... the nation's performance was nevertheless among the strongest in the world. This year, GDP is forecast to grow between 8%-8.25%.
China's population, unlike the Western and Asia-Pacific economies, is currently fixated on saving as opposed to spending.
Mr Zhu believes there are several things the central government could do to boost domestic consumption.
"Number one, you should give people more opportunities to work and then to earn more money, so they will be able to consume more," he said. "I think this is the most important thing and will be the driving force for China's growth strategy in the next few years."
He also suggested that China further open its service sector to allow more competition while crafting supportive tax and fiscal policies, particularly for small and medium-size enterprises. These measures, he said, would go a long way toward raising individual incomes.
The IMF official urged Beijing to increase spending on health, education, pensions and other social programs, which would help allay public concerns about the economy and encourage people to spend more.
The government, he said, should have a policy to discourage investment.
Interest rates on loans are too low, while necessities such as energy, transportation, water and electricity are extremely cheap, fueling excessive expansion of certain parts of the economy.
However, Eswar Prasad, a professor at Cornell University in New York and a former China division chief at the IMF, suggested last month that it's wrong to think of Chinese GDP growth as continuing to be driven by exports and investment.
According to Mr Prasad: "China has made substantial progress on reducing its external imbalance, with the surpluses on both the current account and the trade balance falling sharply from their peaks in 2007," Prasad said at a hearing of Congress' US-China Economic and Security Review Commission."
He also listed the three major challenges for China:
- Implementing reforms to improve the quality and efficiency of growth
- Continuing to shift from capital-intensive production
- Creating jobs and helping more of the benefits of growth to reach Chinese households.