China economy

China’s economic growth to slow to about 6.7pc in second quarter, think tank says

Recently released data suggests the world’s second-largest economy is starting to lose some momentum, as analysts have long predicted

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 May, 2018, 12:33pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 May, 2018, 7:42pm

China’s economy is likely to expand by about 6.7 per cent in the second quarter of this year, the State Information Centre (SIC) said in an article in the state-owned China Securities Journal on Saturday.

The forecast was slightly lower than the 6.8 per cent expansion posted in the first quarter. The SIC is an official think tank affiliated with the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planning agency.

April activity data released earlier this week suggested that the world’s second-largest economy is starting to lose some momentum, as analysts have long predicted, as the government continues a crackdown on riskier types of financing.

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While still expanding at a good clip, retail sales and fixed-asset investment grew more modestly than expected, while property sales fell for the first time in six months in the face of continued government curbs on speculation and rising mortgage rates.

The lone bright spot was a rebound in industrial output, though the outlook for exporters is being clouded by trade frictions with the United States.

Despite better-than-expected first-quarter growth, economists polled by Reuters still expect a gradual slowdown to about 6.5 per cent this year, which is also the government’s target, assuming there are no trade shocks.

The SIC said it expects dollar-denominated exports to grow by about 8 per cent in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, and imports to rise by about 10 per cent.

It forecast consumer inflation of about 2 per cent in the second quarter and expected producer price inflation to accelerate to about 3.8 per cent.

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It suggested the government “maintain flexibility in macroeconomic policy and actively deal with trade frictions between the United States and China … to ensure a steady and healthy development of the country’s broader economy”.

The SIC said also that in the April-June period it expects China’s industrial output to grow by about 6.6 per cent year on year, fixed-asset investment by about 7.2 per cent and retail sales by about 10 per cent.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said this week that steady economic growth in April have provided a good foundation for achieving the government’s full-year target.