Eco­nomic growth set to beat fore­cast

Na­tional Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics of­fi­cial sees fast ex­pan­sion in H1

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By XIN ZHIMING xinzhim­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s eco­nomic growth could reach 6.8 or 6.9 per­cent in the first half of this year, a se­nior na­tional sta­tis­tics bu­reau of­fi­cial said on Wed­nes­day.

“China is ex­pected to achieve rel­a­tively fast GDP growth of 6.8 or 6.9 per­cent in the first half of this year,” said Pan Jiancheng, deputy head of the China Eco­nomic Mon­i­tor­ing & Anal­y­sis Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics, which is af­fil­i­ated to the Na­tional Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics.

China’s growth was “bet­ter than ex­pected and more op­ti­mized in struc­ture” in the first six months, fea­tur­ing im­prov­ing in­di­ca­tors, in­creas­ing jobs, sta­ble prices and a sound bal­ance of in­ter­na­tional pay­ments, Pan told the Chi­ne­se­lan­guage Se­cu­ri­ties Times news­pa­per.

He said in­dus­trial out­put growth was on the rise and con­sump­tion has be­come a ma­jor pil­lar of growth, in­di­cat­ing that the econ­omy’s in­her­ent growth mo­men­tum is strengthening.

China’s GDP ex­panded at higher-than-ex­pected 6.9 per­cent year-on-year in the first quar­ter. The NBS is sched­uled to re­lease the sec­ond-quar­ter GDP growth on July 17.

Lian Ping, chief econ­o­mist of Bank of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, pre­dicted on Wed­nes­day that China’s sec­ond-quar­ter yearon-year GDP growth may stand at 6.8 per­cent and grad­u­ally ease to 6.7 per­cent and 6.6 per­cent in the third and fourth quar­ter, re­spec­tively.

De­spite the growth mod­er­a­tion, Lian told an eco­nomic

chief econ­o­mist of Bank of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions

fo­rum that there is lit­tle pos­si­bil­ity that China’s econ­omy will suf­fer a hard land­ing this year, due to the na­tion’s sup­port­ive macroe­co­nomic poli­cies, im­proved ex­ports, and tight­ened fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tion that is set to drive cap­i­tal into man­u­fac­tur­ing and other non-fi­nan­cial sec­tors.

Pan from the NBS said that growth in the sec­ond half of this year may ease due to the higher base of growth in the same pe­riod of 2016, pos­si­ble weak­en­ing of the real es­tate sec­tor and changes in the in­ter­na­tional trade en­v­i­ron-

Pan Jiancheng,

ment, but there should be no doubt that the coun­try would meet its growth tar­get of “around 6.5 per­cent” for this year.

De­spite its sta­ble growth prospects, China faces some chall en g e s , Pa ns a i d .

Al­though lo­cal gov­ern­ments have adopted var­i­ous price con­trol mea­sures to pre­vent home prices from con­tin­u­ing to rise in ma­jor cities, ex­pec­ta­tions of fur­ther ris­ing prices, es­pe­cially in smaller cities, re­main strong, which has led to in­creased real es­tate in­vest­ment, he said. Since it is mainly fi­nanced by bank loans, such in­vest­ment may raise the level of lever­age and in­crease risks for the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, he warned.

Mean­while, growth in China’s ser­vice sec­tor weak­ened in June, ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of a key pri­vate sur­vey re­leased on Wed­nes­day.

The Caixin/Markit ser­vices pur­chas­ing man­agers in­dex (PMI) dropped to 51.6 in June from 52.8 in May, but re­mained above the line of 50 that de­mar­cates ex­pan­sion and con­trac­tion.

Pan from the NBS said that China’s ser­vice sec­tor re­mains sta­ble at high lev­els and pro­vides solid sup­port for the coun­try’s over­all eco­nomic sta­bil­ity.

LIU DEBIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A worker at a steel plant in Dalian, Liaoning prov­ince.

deputy head of China Eco­nomic Mon­i­tor­ing & Anal­y­sis Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics

Lian Ping,

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