China’s economy, which is reeling under continued slowdown, is likely at grow at 6.8 per cent in the first quarter this year, according to a Goldman Sachs forecast. The world’s second largest economy slowed down to 6. 9 per cent last year and the government has cut down the growth to 6.5 per cent this year. The bank said in a research report that purchasing managers’ index (PMI) readings from both official and private surveys have implied firm activity growth overall.
It expected China’s GDP growth to reach 6.6 per cent for 2017. Goldman Sachs expected China’s industrial production to rise 6.4 per cent in March, slightly higher than the 6.3 per cent growth for January and February.
Fixed asset investment growth is likely to remain strong, expanding 8.9 per cent in the first three months of the year, unchanged from that in the first two months, the Goldman Sachs forecast said.
It expected weaker auto sales to continue weighing on the country’s retail sales, which may increase 9.4 per cent in March, slowing from the 9.5 per cent growth registered in the first two months, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The bank said growth of the country’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, may rebound to 1.3 per cent in March from 0.8 per cent in February as distortions from the Chinese New Year effect disappeared.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, China’s economy grew 6.8 per cent year on year.
China is scheduled to release its first-quarter economic data, including GDP growth, fixed asset investment, industrial output and retail sales, on April 17.