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Survey shows pros' economic outlook upbeat

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-29 07:21

Professionals working for businesses are confident China's economic growth this year will likely meet the official target and expect both their companies' headcounts and profits to increase, according to a survey report released on Tuesday.

The report, published by CPA Australia, a global accounting body, shows that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed expect China's economic growth will be between 6 percent and 6.9 percent in 2017.

The survey was conducted among more than 400 professionals in China between 2016 and 2017.

Their forecast is in line with the Chinese government's stated target of around 6.5 percent.

Alex Malley, CPA Australia's chief executive, said: "A growth rate of around 6.5 percent is ambitious given a number of factors including increased uncertainty in the policy direction of a number of key overseas markets. However, we're confident that China will achieve its target."

Reasons behind the positive economic outlook, according to the survey, are policies guiding the transformation of China to an innovative, intelligence-led economy, the Belt and Road Initiative, and further deepening of the supply-side reform.

These initiatives and reforms are "targeting the right areas to achieve continued and sustainable growth", said Malley.

According to the report, information technology or the technology industry is projected to make the most contribution to spur the world's second-largest economy this year, followed by real estate and infrastructure sectors.

In addition, more than half of respondents expect the headcount in their company to increase this year, and over 60 percent of them expect their employer's profit to rise at the same time, the report says.

Bob De Lange, group president of Caterpillar Inc, the largest machinery manufacturer in the United States, said his company has invested in the expansion of its mini-excavator plant in Wujiang, Jiangsu province, this year.

"Frankly, we're always positive about China's business environment," he said.

The survey results also identified several challenges facing the nation's economic growth. Some 23 percent of respondents consider rising costs as one of the main challenges.

To cope with the challenges, Peter Kung, president of the CPA Australia South China Committee, said businesses need to consider a range of activities to manage rising costs, including monitoring major expenses and reviewing current processes to identify any potential extra efficiencies that can be put in place.

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