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Over half of firms see 7% to 8% GDP rise

ALMOST half of Chinese entrepreneurs believe China's economy would bottom out before the end of this year, and more than 50 percent forecast the country's economic growth would be more than 7 percent, a recent survey shows.

About 47 percent of the surveyed entrepreneurs are confident the economy would recover this year while 43.1 percent see recovery next year, according to the survey unveiled over the weekend by the Chinese Entrepreneur Survey System under the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Approximately one-third of the entrepreneurs said the gross domestic product would expand by less than 7 percent despite the government's determination to ensure a growth rate of 8 percent. A total of 54.6 percent of them forecast an economic growth between 7 percent and 8 percent.

Several leading economic indicators are pointing to a recovery in growth thanks to the government's stimulus measures, including a 4-trillion-yuan (US$586 billion) plan, scrapping of lending quotas to boost liquidity and higher tax rebates to limit a slump in exports.

According to the survey, most entrepreneurs are cautiously optimistic about the future of their business. A total of 48.6 percent of them expect to be profitable in the second quarter, 7 percentage points higher than that in the first quarter. However, only 31.1 percent said they planned to raise investment, and 40.3 percent said investment would be cut.

The survey also showed 67.7 percent of the entrepreneurs maintained housing prices are relatively high or too high and 54.2 percent of the total expected prices to fall this year. While 9 percent sees the price to fall over 10 percent, 25.2 percent projected drops between 5 percent and 10 percent.

The survey, based on more than 1,600 valid questionnaires, was conducted between the end of last month and early this month.


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