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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Economic growth expected to rebound in second half

By Zhu Shanshan (Global Times)

08:16, April 19, 2012

China's economic growth is expected to hit the bottom in the second quarter and it's likely to rebound in the second half of the year, experts predicted yesterday at a forum held by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE).

Liu Yuanchun, associate dean of the School of Economics at Renmin University of China, said at the forum yesterday that growth is set to reach the bottom in March or April, and will be followed by a comparatively robust rebound.

The remarks came after the country's GDP growth eased to a near three-year low of 8.1 percent in the first quarter, down from 8.9 percent in the previous three months, according to government data seen on Friday.

Liu said an improving global economic situation, with Japanese and American economies seeing an upturn and Europe preventing the worst from happening, has a positive affect on China's economy.

According to customs data, China reported a trade surplus of $5.35 billion in March, a turnaround from February's monthly deficit of $31.5 billion.

"It's very obvious that the economic growth is reaching the bottom. I think the government should not change its policies drastically since it will interrupt the market-driven recovery pace," Liu said.

Zhu Baoliang, chief economist at the State Information Center, a top government think tank, agreed with the view at the same forum, saying that the economic growth is expected to recover after the second quarter of the year while the growth in the second quarter will likely stay around 8 percent.

Zhu believed that the GDP figure, albeit hitting a near three-year low, is still within a reasonable range given the comparatively promising employment data.

In the first quarter of this year, 3.32 million new jobs were created for urban residents and the number of migrant workers from rural area reached 160 million in the same period, up 3.4 percent year-on-year, according to Zhu.

The robust employment figures showed that the labor supply exceeds the market demand and there is no need to worry about the current growth slowdown, Zhu said.

However, Wang Jun, an economist at CCIEE, warned of possible risks of a sharp drop in growth due to declining external demand and recent operational difficulties faced by enterprises.

Wang noted that China should prevent the economy from sliding further as it would bring a lot of problems including unemployment pressure and reduction in fiscal revenue.

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