China’s claim of stronger-than-expected economic growth in the first part of this year may be tempting policymakers to pare back stimulus. Analysts say that would be a mistake.
The world’s second-largest economy expanded 6.4% in the first quarter from the same period in 2018, the government announced last week, slightly beating analyst predictions. An array of policies, including encouraging banks to make more loans, put in place last year as the economy took a hit from the U.S.-China trade war have been credited with helping boost activity.
But pronouncements since last week’s GDP figure, including after a meeting of the Communist Party’s powerful politburo, indicate that officials see the growth outlook improving, feeding speculation of a rethink in how much of a boost the economy may need.
A politburo statement issued Monday and reported by the official Xinhua news agency emphasized the economy’s strong start to the year but appeared to express concern about financial and real-estate markets. It said those sectors should be closely monitored for possible risks, suggesting worries about possible overheating.
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