China’s economic growth is expected to slow to a near 30-year low of 6.2 per cent this year, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
The second largest economy of the world is likely to fall the record low as sluggish demand at home and abroad weigh on activity despite a flurry of policy support measures.
The median forecast was slightly lower than the 6.3 per cent economists had predicted in the last poll in January, reports Reuters.
While the economy has shown some signs of steadying recently, analysts caution it is too early to tell if the newfound momentum can be sustained.
Policy stimulus thus far has also been more restrained by Chinese standards than in past downturns, which could mean a more gradual recovery.
Most of the 88 institutions covered in the survey do not expect growth to bottom out until later in the year as looser monetary condition and fiscal stimulus take time to percolate through the economy and revive domestic demand.
“We expect the economy will slow further in second quarter as exports likely remain under pressure as global demand deteriorates and the property market stays in a downward cycle, while stubbornly weak consumption for durable goods caps demand,” said Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura.
The full-year forecast of 6.2 per cent would still fall within the government’s target of 6.0-6.5 per cent, but it would mark the weakest pace of growth China has seen in 29 years, and spell a further deceleration from 6.6 per cent in 2018 and 6.8 per cent in 2017.
Growth next year will likely cool further to 6.0 per cent, the poll showed.
Multi-year regulatory campaigns to curb debt risks and pollution have deterred fresh investment, while a year-long trade war with the United States has hurt China’s exporters.
First-quarter growth was seen cooling to 6.3 per cent from a year earlier, the same as in the previous poll, from 6.4 per cent in the fourth-quarter of 2018, the weakest pace since the global financial crisis.
China will post its first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) and March activity data on April 17.