|Photo taken on Oct. 10, 2012 shows the scene of a container terminal in Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua File Photo/Wang Chun)|
By Lu Hui
BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- China's economic growth eased for the seventh straight quarter, but a slew of positive economic indicators for September have shown that China's economy is stabilizing and the slowdown has almost bottomed out.
China's economy has slowed for the seventh straight quarter, growing 7.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Thursday.
The figure was lower than the 7.6-percent growth seen in the second quarter and the first quarter's 8.1-percent growth but was still in line with economists' predictions that third-quarter economic output would grow between 7.4 and 7.5 percent.
Despite the growth slide, NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said the economy has been stabilizing, especially since September, as a slew of evidence backed this, citing the trade rebound and other major economic data.
NBS data showed industrial output expanded 9.2 percent year-on-year in September, up 0.3 percentage point from August. Retail sales shot up 14.2 percent over the same period last year, and the growth rate of fixed-asset investment in the first nine months of 2012 accelerated by 0.1 percentage point compared with the rate in the first half of the year.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) rebounded to 49.8 percent in September from 49.2 percent in August and exports rose to a record monthly high of 9.9 percent year on year to 186.35 billion U.S. dollars.
The data echoed Premier Wen Jiabao's remarks during recent talks on economic conditions. Premier Wen said China's economic growth has started to stabilize and shown positive changes. China's economy will continue to stabilize as government policies get further implemented, Wen said, expressing confidence that China can meet its official growth target of 7.5 percent for the year.
Analysts said although the growth in the third quarter still slowed, the pace was small and some indicators even increased at a faster speed, indicating China’s economy is not at risk of hard landing.
"Clearly, concerns over continued slowdown can now be put to rest,” Dariusz Kowalczyk, an analyst at Crédit Agricole in Hong Kong, said in a research note. The data, he added, confirmed “that growth is picking up and that China is not at risk of hard landing.”
"We are seeing positive factors that will drive a rebound for the economy," said Tang Jianwei, senior finance analyst at the Bank of Communications, China's fifth-largest lender.
Tang predicted that China's GDP will rise 7.8 percent this year based on the nation's growth-stabilizing efforts.
Challenged by a sluggish external market and global economic woes, China lowered its full-year growth target for 2012 to 7.5 percent in early March.
Sheng noted a "mild rebound" is possible in the fourth quarter, a view echoed by other analysts.
"Basically it's obvious that the economy is bottoming out, and economic growth will likely be higher in the fourth quarter than the third quarter," said Lu Ting, Hong Kong-based China economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Zhiwei Zhang, an economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, said the data sent “very positive signals” and helped “reinforce our view that growth will rebound visibly” in the fourth quarter.
The positive changes in the economy are attributed to government pro-growth measures introduced earlier this year, which include more aggressive fiscal spending, structural tax reduction, monetary loosening and state-run sectors opening to private capital.
The government has quickened the process of export tax rebates as one of the measures to stabilize trade. It has also approved a raft of investment projects to shore up growth. The central bank has lowered both banks' reserve requirement ratio and interest rates twice this year in a bid to buoy the slowing economy.
Fan Jianping, chief economist of the State Information Center, held that the economic index for the first three quarters revealed that many positive changes have taken place in investment, consumption and exports -- three main forces driving economic growth.
World Bank predicted China’s growth rate will slow to 7.7 percent this year and but will move back to 8.1 percent in 2013 -- a small risk of "hard landing".
Despite positive changes, China’s economic growth still faces challenging external environment as it is difficult to expand external demand, with lingering world financial crisis, chronic European debt crisis, sluggish American growth and lackluster growth of emerging markets.
And at the same time, trade protectionism bears new tendencies along with global economic slowdown, significant drops in corporate profits and fiscal revenue growth.
Premier Wen said China still faces considerable difficulty in the last quarter, but the government is confident to achieve the full-year economic and social development goals through hard work and efforts.
China's inflation eased to 1.9 percent in September from 2 percent in August. Despite the lessened pressure, the country should continue to be wary, as imported inflation is likely to be caused by QE3 and loose monetary policies in the yen and euro regions.
The nation will have to continue prioritizing growth-stabilizing efforts while pushing forward economic restructuring and industrial upgrading.
China economy slows, rebound expected in Q4
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's economy has slowed for the seventh straight quarter, growing 7.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Thursday.
The figure was lower than the 7.6-percent growth seen in the second quarter and the first quarter's 8.1-percent growth but was still in line with economists' predictions that third-quarter economic output would grow between 7.4 and 7.5 percent. Full story
China's Q3 GDP slows to 7.4 pct
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's economy grew 7.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2012, slower from 7.6 percent in the second quarter and 8.1 percent in the first, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Thursday.
The growth rate has slowed for the seventh straight quarter. However, it was in line with economists' predictions that third-quarter economic output would grow by between 7.4-7.5 percent in the world's second-largest economy. Full story
China's retail sales up 14.1 pct in first nine months
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's retail sales grew 14.1 percent year on year to 14.94 trillion yuan (2.37 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
The total retail sales in September hit 1.82 trillion yuan, up 14.2 percent over the same period last year. Full story
China's fixed-asset investment up 20.5 pct in first nine months
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's fixed asset investment rose 20.5 percent year-on-year to 25.69 trillion yuan (4.08 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months of 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
Investment in property development climbed 15.4 percent, down 1.2 percentage points from the first half, the NBS said. Full story
China's industrial output up 10% in Jan-Sept
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's industrial value-added output grew 10 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Thursday.
The rate of growth was 0.5 percentage point lower than the first half of the year. Full story
China Voice: Is Chinese economy sliding into dangerous position?
BEIJING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- In the past few weeks, there has been growing debate at home and abroad about China and its economic growth, with rhetoric speculating about an imminent economic blowout in the world's second-largest economy.
It's interesting to observe the difference between what pessimists predict about China's economy and what's actually going on in the country. In the eyes of bearish economists, China seems to be the worst-performing economy and is in trouble with nightmares to come, but in fact, it is still the fastest-growing economy among the Group-of-20 members, with an economic growth rate of 7.8 percent in the first half of this year. Full story