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Experts say 8% growth possible

By Hu Yuanyuan  (China Daily)

10:24, September 11, 2012

Graphic shows that the GDP's change. [Photo/Xinhua]

More than half of China's leading economists think the country's GDP growth may still reach 8 percent this year, fueled by the government's recent efforts to boost the economy, a survey by a major website showed on Monday.

According to the NetEase survey, which covered 100 economists and scholars, 52 percent of interviewees expected China's GDP growth to reach 8 percent.

However, 37 percent held the opposite viewpoint. And 11 percent said it was too difficult to judge the overall situation.

Despite sluggish economic data in the past few months, the majority of economists said the government's efforts to stabilize the economy would have the required effect.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning agency, last week announced the approval of 25 new urban rail transit and intercity rail line projects with a total investment of more than 800 billion yuan ($127 billion).

The projects, most of which will take three to eight years to complete, are aimed at injecting vitality into the country's slowing economy and improve the investment environment.

Just over half - 55 percent - of the surveyed economists were optimistic about China's economic prospects, saying that the situation would improve in the second half of the year.

But economists at foreign institutions are not so optimistic.

In a recent report, UBS revised China's GDP growth forecast downward from 8 percent to 7.5 percent in 2012, and from 8.3 percent to 7.8 percent in 2013.

"Declining exports and imports may pose the biggest challenge for China's economy in the coming months," Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce, told China Daily. He said the country might find it hard to hit its trade growth target of 10 percent for the year.

"September and October may be the worst time for China's exports as it is the key season for exporters to grab Christmas orders," said Wei, adding that small and medium-sized enterprises may have a really difficult time.

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