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Boom time shows no signs of cool-off
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China's economy will likely expand by 11.6 percent this year as investment stays strong and consumer prices climb further, according to a government report.


Overall fixed-asset spending may reach 13.8 trillion yuan (US$1.84 trillion), up from the 10.99 trillion yuan last year.


"More tightening moves are necessary to curb the growth of investment," said the report, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Wednesday.


The consumer price index, the indicator for the country's inflation, may rise 4.5 percent year on year in 2007 fueled by food prices that increased 1.5 percent last year.


"The nation's economy is still in the fast lane despite earlier measures to mop up liquidity," said Li Mingliang, an analyst at Haitong Securities Co.


The central bank has raised borrowing costs five times since the start of this year and required banks to set up more money as reserves on several occasions.


The latest interest rate increase occurred on September 14 to put the brakes on surging consumer prices.


Inflation jumped to a decade high of 6.5 percent in August, pushing up the combined growth in the first eight months to 3.9 percent from a year earlier, outstripping the central bank's annual target of three percent.


The economy expanded 11.1 percent last year, making China the fourth-largest economy in the world.


The report predicted exports to increase 25.1 percent after gaining 27.2 percent last year.


Imports may climb 20.3 percent this year, compared with the 20.0 percent rise in 2006.


(Shanghai Daily October 12, 2007)


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