China First-Quarter GDP Growth Seen Easing
BEIJING (Reuters) - China likely carried most of its strong economic momentum from last year into the first quarter of 2018, with government crackdowns on financial risks and industrial pollution dragging less on activity than earlier expected, a Reuters poll showed.
Beijing is looking to keep the economic balancing act intact even as it faces rising trade tensions with its largest trading partner, the United States, that could impact billions of dollars in cross-border trade.
A poll of 60 economists showed growth in gross domestic product likely eased marginally to 6.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with the 6.8 percent clip in the previous two quarters.
At the start of the year, analysts were penciling in a first-quarter slowdown to 6.6 percent.
The consensus forecast indicates growth remained comfortably above the government’s target of around 6.5 percent for the full year, which could give policymakers more confidence to step up efforts to reduce risks in the financial system and clean up the environment.
China’s economic data so far this year has pointed to steady if slightly slower growth from 2017, with factory output holding up despite smog controls and consumer spending still relatively resilient.