China releases its highly-anticipated economic growth data for the fourth quarter on Monday – numbers that are expected to show 2013 marked the weakest performance for the world’s second biggest economy in 14 years.
Many economists forecast China’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to 7.6 percent in the final three months of last year, from 7.8 percent in the previous quarter.
That would put the full-year growth rate at 7.7 percent, above the government’s 7.5 percent official target but mark the weakest level since 1999.
“Ironically, whatever number the government comes out with, the market will probably view it negatively,” David Cui, head of China equity strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told CNBC Asia’s “Cash Flow” on Friday.
“Right now, you have to say the market is in quite a negative frame of mind. So if it [the GDP data] comes way above consensus, people will say the government has to tighten [monetary policy], look how fast credit has been expanding,” he added. “If it’s too low, people will say, wow things are going badly I better not get too involved [in stocks].”
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