Economists await release of Chinese economic indicators with bated breath

10 June 2015

Economists are hoping that indicators of the state of China's economy set to be revealed tomorrow would show that at least the slowdown was not getting worse.

Industrial output, fixed-asset investment and retail sales would provide a check on the economy struggling to pull out of its weakest growth since the 2009 global recession.

Signs of stabilisation could suffice to  keep the apex bank, People's Bank of China, on the sidelines as it waited  see the impact of interest-rate cuts and liberalised fiscal policy.

Among the positives however was the reviving property market.

''China's economy is at its bottom,'' Lian Ping, chief economist of Bank of Communications Co., China's fifth-largest lender, said at a briefing in Shanghai yesterday.

''We are seeing more positive economic data since May, and that's very different from January, when large numbers of data deteriorated sharply.''

Industrial output is likely be up 6 per cent in May from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey, a further improvement from a March figure that was the weakest since 2008.

The growth rate for retail sales was seen bouncing back from a nine-year low to 10.1 per cent, as per data compiled by Bloomberg. Fixed asset investment was likely up 11.9 per cent in the five months through May.

Meanwhile, economists at China's central bank have sharply revised their inflation projections downward for 2015, even as they predicted a pick up the world's second-biggest economy during the next six months due mainly to more stable home prices and firmer foreign demand.

According to a report posted on the website of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the economists project annual inflation of just 1.4 per cent this year, as against 2.2 per cent earlier.

According to the report, the estimates represented the view of the economists and not that of the PBOC. The economists continued to be optimistic, however, even as other forecasts were revised downward reflecting the headwinds faced by the struggling economy.

According to the economists  led by Ma Jun, the central bank's chief economist, the country's sagging property market is "starting to stabilise" and the world economy would show further signs of recovery over the coming months.

"We have reasons to expect some modest recovery in sequential growth in the second-half of this year," the economists said in the report.

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