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October 19, 2009

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Economists predict GDP will increase 9% in Q3

CHINA'S economic recovery is gaining speed and gross domestic product growth is expected to hit 9 percent in the third quarter, economists and analysts said.

"China's economic stimulus plan has produced positive effects," said Zhao Jinping, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, or China's Cabinet.

He expected the country's GDP in the third quarter to rise 9 percent from a year earlier, up from 7.9 percent in the second quarter and 7.1 percent in the first half.

"With the recovery of the world economy and trade environment, foreign trade, although still weak, will play a less negative role in China's economy," Zhao said.

According to the General Administration of Customs, foreign trade continued to fall in September, but the rate of decline slowed.

The total value of imports and exports for September was US$218.94 billion, down 10.1 percent from a year earlier, but up 14.2 percent from August.

"China's economic growth is very likely to exceed 9 percent. The strong rebound is due to the relatively low base of last year's third quarter," said Wang Tongsan, a senior researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the government's top think-tank.

Zhuang Jian, a senior economist with the Asian Development Bank, gave a relatively prudent forecast, but his estimate was also between 8.5 and 9 percent.

He expected even faster economic growth in the fourth quarter.

"The accelerating growth was propped up by proactive fiscal and moderately loose monetary policies. China's economy is recovering at a speed not seen in other countries," Zhuang said.

Several institutions have also painted a rosy outlook for economic growth in the third quarter.

According to a report by the Bank of Communications, although China's consumer price index and producer price index will continue to drop in the third quarter, the declines will narrow and GDP growth is expected to reach 9 percent.

Forecast from the United States-based investment bank Goldman Sachs is even bolder. The bank expected a close to 9.5 percent GDP growth in the third quarter.


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