Business / Economy

Manufacturing remains weak

By Chen Jia and Gao Yuan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-24 07:20

GDP growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter from 7.7 percent in the last three months of 2013 and 7.8 percent in the third quarter.

The State Council, the cabinet, announced steps to boost growth and employment after the release of the first-quarter GDP data.

Manufacturing remains weak

Manufacturing remains weak

"The measures may help growth at the margin but are probably not enough to put the economy into higher gear," said Julia Wang, an economist at HSBC.

"Current growth momentum implies a GDP growth rate of less than 7 percent in the second quarter. A slowdown on both the domestic and external fronts adds to the need for more policy support, particularly as the employment sub-index suggests increasing pressure on the labor market.

"We expect more measures to be unveiled over the course of the next few months and the central bank is expected to keep monetary policy accommodative," she added.

"China's economy is still likely to slow further this quarter, but the slowdown appears to be moderating, helped in part by the government's move to support growth with spending on railways and social housing," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics Ltd in Singapore.

JPMorgan Chase & Co's chief economist for China, Zhu Haibin, said: "The outlook for gradual, moderate improvement going ahead is built on the expectations of moderate improvement in external demand, as well as some pickup in infrastructure investment as the recent moderate pro-growth measures take root."

He said he doesn't expect the People's Bank of China to cut the overall reserve requirement ratio for banks in the near term as a pro-growth measure.

AP contributed to this story.

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