DHAKA: Newly released economic indicators show that China’s economy continued to slow in April, raising expectations that the government will resort to greater policy easing to help stimulate the GDP.
Quickly cooling industrial production and fixed-asset investment, together with disappointing trade figures, have overtaken inflation as the key concern for Chinese policymakers.
This is driving Beijing to raise concerns about potential downside risks in the coming months, analysts said.
‘The pace of economic growth in April may slow to its lowest ebb this year, mainly dragged down by weak exports and the slumping real estate market’, said Liu Yuanchun, deputy head with the economics school of Renmin University of China in Beijing.
In April, China’s consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, eased to 3.4 per cent year-on-year from 3.6 per cent in March, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Food prices increased 7 per cent last month from a year earlier, compared with 7.5 per cent in March, as falling pork and fruit prices offset rising vegetable prices.
A research report from the Bank of Communications forecast that the years` average CPI may decline to 3.3 per cent from 5.4 per cent in 2011.
Inflationary pressure may ease in the first three quarters, while rebounding slightly in the last quarter of this year, the report said.
‘Inflation is set to trend down further, which provides ample room for additional policy easing, including both a quicker pace of fiscal spending and a more supportive credit policy’, said Sun Junwei, a Chinese economist with HSBC Holdings.
Meanwhile, the world’s second-largest economy witnessed industrial production growth of 9.3 per cent last month - the lowest in three years - while retail sales growth slowed to 14.1 per cent year-on-year from 15.2 per cent in March.
Electricity production, an indicator of the industrial manufacturing sector, increased at its slowest pace since May 2009, rising 0.7 per cent from a year earlier to 371.8 billion kilowatt-hours.
BDST: 1620 HRS, May 12, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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