China's Q1 GDP growth may quicken to 6.9%

Indo Asian News Service

Beijing, April 3 (IANS) China's GDP growth is likely to accelerate in the first quarter of 2017 following a pick-up in industrial activity and improvement in domestic demand, a Chinese investment bank said on Monday.

China International Capital Corporation (CICC) said in a research report that GDP growth could quicken to 6.9 per cent in the first quarter from 6.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, Xinhua news agency reported.

CICC expected China's retail sales of consumer goods to increase 10.2 per cent year on year in March, accelerating from the 9.5 per cent rise registered for January-February.

Industrial output growth may slow slightly from 6.3 per cent in the first two months of the year to 6.1 per cent in March because of a higher comparative base from last year, according to CICC.

It also projected fixed asset investment to grow 8.4 per cent in the first three months of the year, with the consumer price index rising 0.9 per cent in March.

China is scheduled to release its first-quarter economic data, including GDP growth, fixed asset investment, industrial output and retail sales, on April 17.

The country's manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 51.8 in March, higher than 51.6 recorded in February, reinforcing signs that the economy is firming up. The index has stayed above the boom-bust line of 50 for eighth months in a row.