Business / Economy

China's 2016 GDP growth likely to be 6.6-6.8%: Think tank

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-17 08:01

BEIJING - China's annual economic growth could be between 6.6 percent and 6.8 percent next year, with employment and consumer prices remaining stable, a government think tank forecast on Wednesday.

However, with growing downward pressure due to uncertainties both at home and abroad, the government should keep its monetary policy easy and ensure that the growth of credit supply and social financing accelerates at a "reasonable and moderate rate", the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said in a report.

The economy has entered a new normal status with a lower growth rate and is rapidly rebalancing towards domestic demand, said Li Xuesong, one of the report's writers and deputy head of CASS' Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics.

As the government steps up fiscal spending and maintains an eased monetary policy, a hard landing will be unlikely for the economy in 2016, Li said.

CASS expected the country's consumer prices to rise by 2.1 percent year on year in 2016, and projected producer prices will continue a downward trend, down 3.7 percent for the whole year.

China's economy grew 6.9 percent in the third quarter of the year, the weakest pace since the global financial crisis, prompting the central bank to cut interest rates six times in one year.

However, the latest macroeconomic indicators, including November's industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment, have suggested stabilization in the economy. The country is on track to meet the government's growth target of around 7 percent for 2015.

President Xi has said that China must achieve annual average growth of no less than 6.5 percent over the next five years to hit the country's goal of doubling GDP and per capita income by 2020 from 2010.

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