The economic outlook for the coming year is greatly improved on the past 12 months, but there are still troubling clouds on the horizon, according to a member of the nation's top think-tank. Yi Xianrong , a research fellow in economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says over-inflated property prices and poor prospects for exports are likely to be the main areas of concern for the government in the year to come. He echoed Premier Wen Jiabao's comments that the country was not yet completely clear of the global financial crisis. 'Nationally, I don't expect GDP growth to be much above 5 per cent,' Yi says. 'Although the situation has improved, international demand is still low. Dongguan and other areas are doing all right now but I am still not too optimistic about exports.' He agrees with the government's resistance to overseas pressure to revalue the yuan, because a rising currency 'could cause a number of problems for the domestic economy'. Domestically, spiralling property prices have become a cause for concern. 'Property prices in Shanghai are now higher than Manhattan. That is really over the top,' Yi says. 'It would be preferable to see property prices come down as soon as possible, but there is not a huge amount the government can do.' He says home prices are now far out of reach of ordinary citizens and this was accentuating problems created by the increasing income gap. 'We need to drive the pace of urbanisation,' Yi says. 'This is the only policy which can quickly raise income levels in rural areas and improve their connections with the cities. Only by evening out the income gap will we be able to stimulate domestic consumption. No other policy will have as big an impact on the economy as urbanisation.'