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2017 GDP growth could reach 6.9%

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨China Daily

01-16-2018 08:54 BJT

China's GDP growth for 2017 may stay at 6.9 percent, thanks to favorable internal and external conditions despite the cool-off in the real estate sector and ongoing environmental protection measures, economists said.

Xu Hongcai, an economist with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said China's year-on-year GDP growth for 2017 could be a higher-than-expected 6.9 percent.

The world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2017, which is above the government's preset growth target of 6.5 percent.

Foreign trade recovered last year, consumption demand remained steady and high-tech sectors became stronger, contributing to the high growth rate, Xu said. Foreign trade rose 14.2 percent year-on-year in 2017, reversing a two-year declining trend, according to the General Administration of Customs' latest data.

Zhu Baoliang, chief economist of the State Information Center, said the stable GDP can be attributable to the country's macroeconomic regulation since 2015, which had led to stable infrastructure and real estate investment to bolster growth. He said the supply-side structural reform had reduced production capacities and pushed up industrial goods prices, leading to surging corporate profits.

Moreover, China had made much headway in economic restructuring, which has given rise to some new products, technologies and sectors. And the improving global economy has boosted China's export growth, he added.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs forecast that China's GDP growth for 2017 could hit 6.8 percent. "Economically, growth moved higher (than for 2016's 6.7 percent), reflecting better external conditions and the fruits of past policy changes," it said in its latest report.

The report said China has also managed to make some regulatory achievements to control financial risks. "Broad credit growth slowed from a pace of more than 20 percent to the low tens on a clampdown on shadow banking activity. In asset markets, policymakers reined in surging house prices, stabilized the currency after a volatile 2015-16, and oversaw a steady equity rally," the report said.

The National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release the country's key economic data, including wholeyear GDP growth, industrial output, fixed asset investment, and retail sales, on Thursday.

Premier Li Keqiang said last week at the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting that China's GDP growth for 2017 is "around 6.9 percent". China had maintained the trend of stable and improving growth in 2017, he said. Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, said at a forum held on Saturday that the Chinese economy "showed sound momentum last year and did better than expected".

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