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Survey identifies economic optimism

BUSINESS professionals are generally optimistic about China's economic outlook and many expect China's stock market to rise significantly this year, a survey released yesterday by CPA Australia found.

Among 215 senior executives in accounting, consultancy, education and financial firms, nearly half said the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index will rebound to up to 3,500 this year. The index has jumped nearly 60 percent since last year to close at a 12-month high of 2,925.05 yesterday.

About 90 percent of respondents believed China's economy would grow at a rate of more than 6 percent this year, while 39.1 percent said the growth will range between 7 and 7.9 percent - close to the nation's target of an 8-percent expansion. Manufacturing and real estate were singled out as the main drivers of China's economic resurgence, which has been boosted by massive government spending.

About 73 percent of respondents said the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai will help stimulate China's economy by attracting more foreign investment, enhancing business confidence, stimulating consumption and increasing job opportunities.

Respondents were divided when asked if their company would recruit fresh graduates in the second half of this year, and 61.4 percent said their firms would employ more experienced personnel over the next six months.

"It shows business professionals have growing confidence in China's economy - a good sign for China," said Lawrence Lau, president of the CPA Australia Shanghai Committee.

Recent economic data provided evidence that the country's economy may have bottomed out, said economists.


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