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China economy

Top Chinese think tank sees mild slowdown ahead as financial risks surface

Global trade frictions expected to amplify financial volatility, State Information Centre says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 2:48pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 9:03pm

China’s broad economic growth was expected to ease to around 6.6 per cent in the second half of this year, the State Information Centre said on Saturday.

The official China Securities Journal quoted the State Information Centre (SIC) as saying the Chinese economy was likely to experience a mild slowdown in the second half of the year as financial market risks become “obvious” and demand was expected to decline.

The SIC is an official think tank affiliated with the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planning agency.

Beijing softens tone on debt crackdown as trade tensions threaten growth

The economy has already felt the pinch from a crackdown on riskier lending that has driven up corporate borrowing costs.

The central bank has since pumped more cash into the economy to ease fears from the start of a trade war with the United States by cutting reserve requirements for banks.

“Uncertainties in both internal and external economic developments are rising. Global trade frictions are intensifying while a spillover effect from major economies’ monetary policy normalisation will amplify financial market volatility,” the think tank said.

“Downward pressure on the Chinese economy has increased.”

The United States and China imposed duties on US$34 billion worth of each other’s imports on Friday, starting a trade war that could drag on for some time.

China should not seek high growth as financial risks mount, warns government official

A Reuters poll of 55 economists this week showed China’s gross domestic product growth was expected to ease marginally to 6.7 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier, versus the 6.8 per cent seen in the previous three quarters.

China is due to publish second-quarter GDP on July 16, along with other activity data.

The State Information Centre expected dollar-denominated exports to grow around 8 per cent in the second half versus a year earlier and imports to rise about 12 per cent.

It forecast consumer inflation of around 1.8 per cent and producer price inflation would pick up to about 2.5 per cent in the second half from a year earlier.

In the same report, the SIC said it expected China’s industrial output to grow about 6.6 per cent in the July-December period from a year earlier, with fixed-asset investment growth of around 6.5 per cent and retail sales seen rising about 9.5 per cent.