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China poses for U-turn recovery: economist
Updated: 2009-07-01 23:16

BEIJING: Fan Gang, China's renowned economist and central bank advisor, said Wednesday that China's economic recovery is poised to make a U-turn.

Fan, director of the National Economic Research Institute, made the comment at a financial forum organized by Globe, a biweekly magazine run by Xinhua News Agency.

"I believe the current recovery has been confirmed and can be sustained," said Fan, also a member of the monetary policy committee of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.

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Fan said he was optimistic about China's economic recovery, adding that the recovery would take the shape of a narrow-bottomed "U", instead of an "L", indicating a period of continued slow growth, or a "W", marking fluctuations in the recovery.

Fan said the country's response to the financial crisis, including a 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package and a record budgeted deficit of 950 billion yuan (US$139 billion) for 2009, would be sufficient to sustain a certain growth despite the slowdown.

He forecast that investment from the private sector would become active again next year following huge government investment.

Fan also said that China's slowdown reflected its own growth cycle, from showing signs of overheating in 2004 and 2005 to slower growth later on, partly in response to government moves to prevent the economy from overheating.

He added that it was misinterpretation to say China's slowdown was solely a result of a slump in global demand.

China's GDP growth slowed to 9 percent in the third quarter of 2008, then slumped to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter and further down to 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Economists and officials are expecting a higher growth for the second quarter, compared with that of the first quarter. The government is scheduled to released the official figure in mid July.

Latest statistics seemed to suggest a clear recovering trend, as China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which includes a package of indices that measure economic performance, stood at 53.2 percent in June, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

The figure was up 0.1 percentage points from May. A reading of above 50 suggests expansion, while below 50 indicates contraction.

Premier Wen Jiabao said on June 17 that China's economy was at a critical moment as it had begun to recover "steadily".

A week later, the National Bureau of Statistics said the slowdown in the world's third largest economy had bottomed out and it was expected to grow about 8 percent in the second quarter.