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Confidence in the economy on the rise

By Wang Xiaotian  (China Daily)

08:15, December 20, 2012

Bank signs on a street in Shanghai. Banker's confidence in the economic outlook has improved over the past three months, according to a central bank survey. [YAN DAMING / FOR CHINA DAILY]

Confidence among bankers and entrepreneurs in the health of China's economy has risen compared with three months ago, while inflation expectations went up among households, surveys said.

The confidence of bankers in about 3,000 financial institutions in the economy next quarter rose 13.1 points to 55.1, according to a survey released by the People's Bank of China on Tuesday.

More than 60 percent of the surveyed bankers said that they expect the economy to remain in a "normal" range, while nearly 35 percent believe economic conditions might be lackluster.

A separate survey involving 5,000 entrepreneurs showed that an index measuring their confidence in the economy went up 1.2 points quarter-on-quarter to 60.4. However, the figure is 8 points lower than at the same time last year.

Meanwhile, an index reflecting companies' profits rose 1.7 points to 53.1, although it still is 2.4 points lower than in the fourth quarter of 2011.

November's data broadly confirmed that China's economy is recovering, although renewed weakness in exports and investment underscored the need for caution about the strength of the recovery, said Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and a former World Bank economist.

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