Economists forecast stable growth for China in 2018
Despite headwinds both home and abroad, economists expect China's economy to experience stable growth in 2018 and expand by around 6.7 percent compared to 2017.
Economists surveyed by the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a government think tank, estimated that the country's economy grew 6.8 percent year-on-year in 2017, saying the stable momentum will continue into 2018.
The quarterly survey, covering more than 100 domestic economists, showed that confidence in the development of foreign trade has picked up, as 45 percent of those surveyed estimated that exports in the fourth quarter of 2017 will rise from one year earlier.
The 2018 forecast was shared by a CASS 2018 economy bluebook report, the Bank of Communications as well as institutes at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and the Renmin University of China.
Expecting the economy to stabilize at around 6.7 percent in 2018, Bank of China's Institute of International Finance said the country will focus on improving the quality and efficiency of growth.
China’s labor force has been on the decline since its peak in 2012, while the increase rate for the total factor productivity rate has also remained at low level in the past few years. Added to sluggish growth rates in existing capital, these factors combined mean that China’s GDP growth in 2018 will potentially see a slight dip, as it remains within a specific range, the survey said, explaining its prediction.
The economy expanded 6.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2017, higher than the government's annual target of around 6.5 percent set for the year.