World Bank lowers China growth forecast to 9.4 percent

April 1st, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, April 1 (Xinhua) The World Bank has scaled down China’s growth rate for 2008 to 9.4 percent from its February forecast of 9.6 percent. Louis Kuijs, senior economist of the World Bank’s Beijing office, said Tuesday the adjustment was made purely on concerns over external factors.

As the world economy had slowed more rapidly in the past two months, this had a negative impact on the growth of Chinese exports, Kuijs said.

The Bank official said he was still optimistic of the domestic performance of the economy and was confident of adequate investment and robust consumption pattern.

The latest report said despite falling US import and rising volatility in global financial markets, China was expected to continue to perform strongly on rising domestic investment and consumption growth.

In 2007, the country’s economy grew 11.4 percent, the highest in 13 years and also the fifth year of double-digit growth.

The report said growth in developing east Asia would fall by around 1 to 2 percentage points to around 8.5 percent in 2008 as a result of the unfolding financial turmoil in the United States and the resulting global slowdown.

Economies in the region reported a combined 10.2 percent growth in 2007, the highest in a decade.

According to the report, east Asia, especially China, has increasingly become a “growth pole” in the world economy, acting as a counterweight to the slowing industrial economies.

“The overall growth remains healthy across the east Asia and Pacific region”, the Bank said.

Most countries were well positioned to navigate the global slowdown on back of the investments they had made over the past 10 years in structural reforms and putting sound macroeconomic policies in place, it added.

It warned the real challenge for governments in the region was the inflationary effect of mounting food and fuel prices, especially the harsh burden imposed on the poor.

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