January 29, 2020 / 12:30 PM / 19 days ago

CORRECTED-China Q1 growth may dip below 5% as virus spreads -Academy of Social Sciences economist

(adds ‘Social’ to name of think tank in headline, 2nd paragraph)

BEIJING, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China’s economic growth may drop to 5% or even lower in the first quarter as the coronavirus hits more sectors, possibly leading policymakers to introduce more stimulus measures, a government economist said in remarks published on Wednesday

The outbreak could cut first-quarter GDP growth by about 1 percentage point, Zhang Ming, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences - a top government think tank - said in a report published in Caijing magazine.

Zhang’s forecasts are based on the assumption that outbreak will peak in early to mid-February, and end by the end of March.

Reporting by Kevin Yao; editing by John Stonestreet

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