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Economic growth likely to accelerate again in H2

By : Xinhua|Updated: 2009-01-04

The ongoing financial crisis would pose further challenges for China in 2009, but economic growth would probably accelerate at mid-year for a full-year figure of more than 8 percent, according to economists quoted in a story on Thursday at Xinhuanet.com.

Zhang Yansheng, head of the international economy research institution under the National Development and Reform Commission, said expanding domestic demand in the second half would cushion the impact of plunging exports as macroeconomic measures and stimulus packages would have a further effect.

China would increase investment in 2009 in agriculture and rural development, energy conservation and pollution control, social welfare, environmental protection, major infrastructure projects and raising living standards.

Li Yang, director of the Institute of Finance and Banking under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the economy would shake off the impact of the global economic turmoil and resume rapid development in the second half of 2009.

According to the central economic work conference held in December 2008, rural consumption and spending on housing, cars, services and tourism would be the focus of efforts to boost domestic consumption.

Yi Gang, vice governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC, the central bank), said he expected domestic enterprises would draw down inventories by the end of the second quarter and purchase new production goods, which would be a signal of recovery.

Liu He, deputy director of the office for the Central Leading Group on Finance and Economy Work, said exports had been falling but credit support would keep the situation from worsening.

Officials in major world economies have taken unprecedented monetary and fiscal measures to fight the financial crisis, which would probably ease the pain in the second half.

China's gross domestic product growth slowed to 9 percent in the first three quarters of 2008 as a result of the financial crisis, compared with 11.9 percent in all of 2007.

Exports slid 2.2 percent year-on-year in November 2008, the first monthly decline since June 2001, and fiscal revenue recorded its first monthly decrease for 12 years in October.

Fan Jianping, chief economist at the State Information Center, said the country's economy would continue slowing and face tougher conditions in the first half of 2009.

China's top statistician, Yao Jingyuan, said the economy was still in good shape and industrialization and urbanization were still two important powerhouses of growth.

The government urged most stimulus investment be directed into projects and construction before March, when the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee would be held.

"Stimulus measures would likely pay off in the second quarter of this year," said Li Jing, chairman of China Equities, JP Morgan Securities.

Measures so far included a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package, increased export tax rebates and tapping the vast rural consumer market with more government subsidies for farmers to buy home appliances.