China’s economy expected to cool further this year: Poll , Latest Business News - The New Paper

China’s economy expected to cool further this year: Poll

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BEIJING: China's economy is expected to cool further this year as domestic demand weakens and exports are hit by US tariffs, a Reuters poll showed yesterday, reinforcing views Beijing will need to roll out more stimulus measures.

China's economic growth is expected to slow to 6.3 per cent this year, which would be the weakest in 29 years, from an expected 6.6 per cent last year, according to median forecast of 85 economists Reuters polled.

The economy expanded 6.9 per cent in 2017. Both forecasts were unchanged from the October poll.

"A significant Chinese slowdown may already be unfolding," Harvard University economics professor Kenneth Rogoff said recently.

A resumption of Sino-US trade talks has increased optimism among some analysts that Washington could agree to a further suspension of planned tariff hikes on Chinese goods, originally slated to take effect this month.

However, a comprehensive agreement to end the dispute is seen as unlikely by the negotiating deadline of early March, given the number of highly divisive and politically sensitive issues on the table.

Even if the two sides are able to reach a durable trade deal, analysts said it would offer only modest relief for China's economy unless Beijing can rekindle weak domestic investment and demand.

"We expect the economy to soften further this year.

"Domestic headwinds are likely to stay strong," analysts at Capital Economics said in a note.

"Output would only be slightly stronger if China avoided further tariffs.

"And the broader tensions around technology and national security are likely to stay high."

Sources told Reuters last week that Beijing is planning to lower its economic growth target to 6-6.5 per cent this year from around 6.5 per cent in 2018. - REUTERS