posted at 22:50
Author Name: Kelly Olsen
China 2015 GDP target in focus as stimulus expectations heat up
Economists will be looking for clues in next year's gross domestic product growth target, which is likely to be decided at the annual Central Economic Work Conference. Separately, main monthly economic statistics are due this week, with analysts expecting weakening industrial production growth and chronically low inflation. The closely watched economic conference brings together key officials to decide policy for the coming year, with topics expected to include monetary policy, the consumer price index target, and further economic reforms. "We expect the government to lower its 2015 economic targets for GDP growth to 7.0 percent from 7.5 percent in 2014 and CPI inflation to 3.0 percent from 3.5 percent," Nomura economists wrote. China last lowered the target in 2012 to 7.5 percent from 8.0 percent and a drop to 7.0 percent would be the lowest since 2004. The slowing growth outlook has not dented enthusiasm for Chinese shares, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite index leaping 38.8 percent so far this year. Growth in industrial production, which slowed in October, is likely to have taken another hit in November, economists say, as China ordered factories in and around Beijing to close to ensure blue skies for the APEC summit. Capital Economics economists Julian Evans-Pritchard and Mark Williams see CPI falling to a near-five-year low of 1.5 percent in November, down from 1.6 percent in October, with further falls ahead. Still, they described worries about the threat of deflation as "Overdone".

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