China: World Bank lowers 2008 economic growth forecast

5 February 2008

Beijing, China, 5 Feb – China’s economic growth is expected to slow by 1.2 percentage points in 2008 to 9.6 percent, due to reduced world economic prospects, according to forecasts published by the World Bank Monday in Beijing.

“The reduction of world economic growth is expected to impact Chinese exports and foreign investment in the country in the commercial production sector,” said David Dollar, the bank’s director for China, in a statement accompanying the World Bank’s quarterly report on the country’s economy.

The World Bank, however, did not see a fall in China’s growth as a negative and noted that China was in a “string” macroeconomic position to encourage demand and the economy by reducing taxation and making access to credit easier if “a world economic slowdown” – the bank avoided the word recession – is “more pronounced.”

“Either way, the rate of growth of the economy is expected to remain robust and a global slowdown could contribute to re-balancing the economy,” the bank said.

The Chinese economy, which is the fourth largest in the world, grew 11.4 percent in 2007, which is the fastest expansion in the last 13 years and the 10th consecutive year with growth of over 10 percent. (macauhub)