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Think tank: Economy to grow 5.5% this year Release date: 2022-01-13    Source:China Daily

China's economy is expected to grow around 5.5 percent in 2022, bringing the average annual growth rate forecast for 2020 to 2022 to 5.34 percent, a top government think tank said on Wednesday.

The GDP is poised to maintain steady growth in 2022 after rebounding to an estimated 8.2 percent growth in 2021, according to annual forecasts by the Center for Forecasting Science (CEFS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Bao Qin, assistant director of the CEFS, said China's GDP growth rate is expected to reach around 5.2 percent in the first quarter of 2022, with the second and third quarters to be 5.5 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. The fourth quarter GDP is likely to grow by 5.7 percent.

"Domestic consumption is expected to maintain sustained growth in 2022, with a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 5.4 percent to 7 percent, which will still be the main driving force for economic growth," Bao said at a news conference in Beijing.

Bao said domestic consumption will gradually recover due to smooth recovery of the national economy, improvement of domestic emergency prevention capacity, continuous development of enterprise operations, further recovery of offline consumption and effective government measures to spur consumption.

According to the forecasts, the nominal growth rate of fixed asset investment (excluding rural households) is expected to be 5 percent to 6 percent in 2022.

The country's imports and exports are likely to surge more than 6 percent year-on-year to reach $6.41 trillion in 2022, with exports and imports increasing nearly 7 percent and over 5 percent, respectively, the forecasts showed.

The CEFS warned the risk of price rises beyond expectation remains, estimating that the producer price index and consumer price index will rise about 4.3 percent and around 2 percent in 2022, respectively.

Citing the Central Economic Work Conference held last month, Zhu Baoliang, chief economist at the State Information Center, highlighted the importance of combining cross-cyclical and countercyclical adjustments to stabilize the overall economy this year, saying they will help stabilize demand over the short term and deal with structural issues over the long run.

Going forward, Wang Tongsan, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, suggested that the government should roll out more detailed policies to expand investment.

"While the government has introduced a series of policies to spur consumption, policies for expanding investment are not as detailed, sufficient and comprehensive as those for consumption," Wang said. "To further expand domestic demand, more efforts should be made to strengthen the balance between investment and consumption."

According to the World Bank's latest Global Economic Outlook, global growth is expected to decelerate markedly to 4.1 percent in 2022 following an estimated 5.5 percent growth in 2021, reflecting continued COVID-19 flare-ups, diminished fiscal support and lingering supply bottlenecks.

The World Bank noted various downside risks are clouding the outlook, including simultaneous Omicron-driven economic disruptions, further supply bottlenecks, inflationary concerns, financial stress, climate-related disasters and a weakening of long-term growth drivers.

In response to the downside drivers, Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at think tank Oxford Economics, expects China's macroeconomic policy will become more accommodative.