China’s economy slows in first quarter, survey claims
BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
The world’s second largest economy is expected to have grown 6.7 percent in the January to March period, down from 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the poll of 13 economists ahead of the release of official figures.
But the tensions - stoked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat last week to target an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods - have yet to cause real harm to the economy, analysts say.
“If the tensions continue, China’s trade competitiveness may be undermined, weighing on GDP growth,” Liu added.
Trade data released by Beijing on April 13 reinforced that message with China’s trade surplus with the US surging by a fifth in the first three months of the year. There are also signs growth could come in above the 6.7 percent forecast by AFP’s survey. The figure is above the government’s official target of around 6.5 percent for 2018.
“China will release its economic quarterly data which are even better than expected, that shows a good sign for this year,” central bank chief Yi Gang said on April 12.
President Xi Jinping struck last week a conciliatory note on trade, promising to cut tariffs on cars - a key point of U.S. anger - and other imports, as well as further open up the economy, which drew a warm response from Trump. But China’s commerce ministry later reiterated that no negotiations were underway between the two capitals as Washington had not shown enough “sincerity.”