China growth to slow to 6.8% in 2016
China’s central bank announced on Wednesday that the country’s economic growth is expected to slow slightly to 6.8 percent next year.
The figure by the People’s Bank of China is slightly lower than its forecast of 6.9-percent expansion for the current year, AFP has quoted the country’s official Xinhua news agency as saying.
The Bank added that the downward pressures would persist for a while. It further listed overcapacity, profit deceleration and rising non-performing loans as major drags on the economy.
The Bank further emphasized that the recent appreciation in the yuan’s real effective exchange rate has put pressure on China’s exports, adding that keeping the yuan’s trade-weighted exchange rate relatively stable could help exports.
But it said a recovering property market, the lagging effects of macro and structural policies and small improvements in overseas demand would help bolster growth.
The world’s second largest economy grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis.
The central bank has cut interest rates six times since November 2014 and reduced banks’ reserve requirement ratio several times to try to stimulate growth.
Authorities say growth will slow as the economy transitions from reliance on investment and exports towards consumption.
President Xi Jinping said in November that annual expansion of only 6.5 percent would be enough to meet national goals.
The central bank paper tipped export growth of 3.1 percent in 2016 while imports were expected to rise 2.3 percent.
A state think-tank separately forecast growth of between 6.6-6.8 percent next year.
But the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in a report quoted by Xinhua, highlighted uncertainties both at home and abroad and urged the government to maintain an easy monetary policy.