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WB maintains China's 11.3% GDP growth forecast in 2007
Updat:Nov 16, 2007   Author:lj   Click:[]

www.chinaview.cn2007-11-15 09:16:42

BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank's (WB) forecast for China's 2007 growth remains unchanged at 11.3 percent, and it predicted a more than 8 percent economic growth for East Asia in 2007 despite growing concerns about the U.S. sub-prime crisis and rising oil prices. The WB released the same projection for China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth in its quarterly report in September after revising its estimated growth rate from 9.6 percent to 10.4 percent in May. In the latest six-monthly report on the economic and social health of the East Asia and Pacific region, the WB said although East Asian exports to the United States have slowed, more buoyant investment and consumption in China and other countries has allowed growth to remain strong and even pick up this year. China's GDP grew by 11.5 percent in the first three quarters of2007 from the same period last year, decreasing from 11.9 percent in the second quarter but higher than 11.1 percent in the first quarter. The nation's total retail sales grew 15.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of this year, 2.4 percentage points higher than in the same period of 2006, according to the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS). Liu Yuanchun, deputy director of the Economics Institute of the Renmin University of China, said the sustained growth of people's income, still slower than the GDP growth, was the biggest impetus behind consumption growth. A new acceleration in investment spending provided the main impulse for the rise in China's GDP growth in 2007, reflecting fundamental factors such as rapid profit growth, rising profit margins and still relatively low lending rates, said the report. China's fixed assets investment rose to 9,152.9 billion yuan (1,220.4 billion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months, up 25.7 percent from the same period last year. "The government increased the cost of investment to discourage the start of new projects," said Song Guoqing, a researcher with Peking University. "It put small and medium-sized private enterprises under considerable pressure, but had little effect on large state-owned firms." The report cautioned that new highs for oil prices will test the solidity of the East Asian and global economic expansions in 2008, saying that an average per barrel oil price of 90 U.S. dollars in 2008 would be associated with an income loss in East Asia of a little over 1 percent of GDP. Crude oil prices have neared the 100 U.S. dollars per barrel mark in early November, underpinned by demand and supply factors and boosted by short-term factors such as geo-political and financial ones. Faced with worsening fuel shortages in the country, China raised petrol, diesel and jet fuels prices by nearly 10 percent to about 76 U.S. dollars a barrel to boost domestic supplies but its wholesale petrol prices are st

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