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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

China's 6.9% economic growth may continue in second half, Central Bank governor says

Expansion was fueled by rapid increase in imports and exports, growing fiscal income and steady prices 

China's economy may expand by 6.9 per cent in the second half of the year according to the country's central bank on the back of growing imports and exports, a rise in fiscal income and steady prices. Qilai Shen / Bloomberg
China's economy may expand by 6.9 per cent in the second half of the year according to the country's central bank on the back of growing imports and exports, a rise in fiscal income and steady prices. Qilai Shen / Bloomberg

A number of economic indicators show "stabilized and stronger growth" and the momentum of a 6.9 per cent expansion in the first six months of 2017 "may continue in the second half," People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said.

Imports and exports increased rapidly, fiscal income grew, and prices have been steady, Mr Zhou said, according to a statement on the central bank website released Saturday after he attended meetings of global finance chiefs this week in Washington. The effects of deleveraging are showing, and China will monitor and prevent risk in shadow banking and real estate, he said.

"Positive progress has been achieved in economic transformation," the statement said. "China will continue to pursue a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy, with a comprehensive set of policies to strengthen areas of weakness."

Mr Zhou’s comments come before the release of third-quarter gross domestic product, scheduled for Oct. 19. Economists project a moderation to 6.8 per cent from 6.9 per cent in the second quarter amid government efforts to reduce overcapacity and ease debt risk.

Stable growth in the world’s second-largest economy gives policy makers additional room to push ahead with reforms. Mr Zhou recently made a fresh call to further open up the financial sector, warning that such an overhaul will become more difficult if the window of opportunity is missed. Some analysts say they expect reforms will pick up should President Xi Jinping further consolidate power after the 19th Party Congress starting next week.

Meanwhile, the PBOC’s new tailored move to steer credit to small businesses, farmers and startups also indicates that the leadership remains vigilant about economic growth while also refraining from easing monetary policy across the board to contain overall leverage.

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