China's economic growth will ease moderately next year due to a global slowdown and official efforts to curb investment, a senior government economist said Dec. 15. Growth in the world's fourth-largest economy will decelerate slightly to 9.5% to 10% next year, according to Zhu Baoliang, the vice director of forecasting at the State Information Center, the Cabinet's think tank.
China's economy increased 10.7% in the first nine months of this year and the government has said it expects a growth rate for the full year to be 10.5%.
The slowdown will reflect decreasing overseas demand for Chinese products due to a less brisk global economy, affecting China's exports, Zhu told a briefing in Beijing. It will also reflect government efforts to rein in investments, especially in industries that consume a lot of energy or pollute the environment, he said.
A large number of small steel and cement enterprises will be closed down next year as a result of this campaign, he said.
However, the risk of a rebound in fixed-asset investment is still rather high, he warned. He said abundant funding resources will help fuel next year's investment as many enterprises have large profits that they can use to finance spending on new capacity.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006