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China's economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020: central bank adviser

FILE PHOTO: A view shows traffic during evening rush hour at the central business district (CBD) in Beijing, China, January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.

This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.

Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.

China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.

Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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