BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's economic growth rate may have bottomed out in the third quarter of 2012 and a slight rebound may be seen in the fourth quarter on improved market demand, an official has predicted.
Growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 will be slightly higher than the 7.5-percent government target, Yu Bin, director of the Macroeconomic Research Department at the Development Research Center under the State Council, or China's Cabinet, said in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.
The difference between real economic growth and the government's target for the year will be the smallest compared to those seen during the past decade, he forecast.
Yu attributed the rebound to the monetary easing across major global economies, including the United States, the European Union and Japan, which will help stabilize financial markets and boost consumer confidence.
The country's factory production, which was badly hit by lackluster external market, has shown signs of picking up, according to the economist. Official data indicated that manufacturers received more new orders in September than August due to improving overseas demand.
Driven by surging infrastructure investment and a warming real estate market, domestic demand has also showed an upward trend, Yu said, citing a 20.5-percent growth in fixed-asset investment and 11.6-percent growth in retail sales for the first three quarters.
Yu said he expected the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, to expand at a rate lower than 3 percent in 2012.
Official data showed that the CPI grew 1.9 percent year on year in September, easing from 2 percent in August. The rate is well below the 4-percent full-year target set by the government.
Government tightening efforts to contain inflation and flagging exports cooled China's GDP growth to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of the year, which marked a decline of seven consecutive quarters.