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China on rebound, despite poor growth?

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 01:33

Latest GDP data from China shows its slowest growth since 2009 - but economists latch on to improved loan, retail sales and industrial indicators as a sign that the world's No. 2 economy is recovering. Hayley Platt reports.

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China's latest GDP figures may be the worst in seven years. But the 6.7 percent growth is what the world's second largest economy needs to make the transition from manufacturing to services. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINA'S NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS SPOKESMAN, SHENG LAIYUN, SAYING: "We believe that the recent series of policies to stabilise growth, adjust structure and benefit people's livelihoods have continued to produce effects." And economists see parts of the data as pointing to the recovery. Exports figures for March already showed an unexpected rebound. And these numbers show retail sales - led by consumer demand - rose 10.5 percent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "If you look maybe away at the headline GDP number towards the monthly retail sales and industrial production numbers which rose more than expected, I think you can take away that actually maybe China's economy has bottomed for the time being, largely as a result of these government measures." Fiscal stimulus is a tried and tested formula for China. The government says it wants the economy to be more consumer-driven - but that comes along with a surge of new debt. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Government debt has gone up and private debt was already elevated and China's bank's still have a lot of bad loans on the books so it's a fragile tightrope that the government's trying to walk right now." Beijing hopes a recovery - even a credit-fuelled one - can be sustained. Many though - fear China is too heavily reliant on stimulus instead of focussing on lasting structural reforms.

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China on rebound, despite poor growth?

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 01:33