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Analysts upbeat over China's key economic data for April

CHINA'S gross domestic product has given positive signs to analysts to sing an optimistic tune about the outlook of the world's third-largest economy, which is set to release key economic data for April next week.

Wang Qing, a Morgan Stanley analyst, said his firm looked for further slight improvement in growth momentum in the data to be released.

"Economic strength and resilience as shown in recent Chinese data has been a key driver behind the stable and rebounded equity markets," said Wang yesterday after he upgraded China's growth forecast for 2009 to 7 percent from 5.5 percent.

"We became optimistic because of the strong policy responses which were more effective than expected," he added.

Stephen Green, Standard Chartered Bank's chief economist in China, said although the bank has not upgraded its forecast of a 6.8 percent growth for this year, China's economy seemed to have bounced back thanks to spending on infrastructure.

Li Maoyu, an analyst at Changjiang Securities Co, also said the April data could serve as new evidence that China's economy has started on the road to recovery after recording the slowest growth in at least 17 years.

The National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to unveil the April data for consumer prices, producer prices, industrial output and retail sales from Monday.

China's gross domestic product rose 6.1 percent from a year earlier in the first three months, the weakest expansion since 1992 when the quarterly figures were first published.

But there are growing signs of a rebound in manufacturing and stronger consumer confidence, while the costs of living and production are seen to be on a downward trend.

China's Purchasing Manager Index, a key indicator of activities in the manufacturing sector, rose for the fifth straight month in April to 53.5 from 52.4 in March. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion, below 50 a contraction.

April's retail sales may continue to grow by double digits. During the May Day holiday, China's retail sales rose 9 percent from a year ago.


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