Recent Chinese data reinforce IMF's 2013 GDP forecast: official

Reuters
People walk past a billboard at the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai
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People walk past a billboard at the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai September 2, 2013. REUTERS/Aly …

TOKYO (Reuters) - China's recent economic data reinforce the International Monetary Fund's forecast that the world's second-largest economy will avoid a second-half slowdown and grow 7.75 percent this year, a fund official said on Thursday.

Markus Rodlauer, deputy director of the IMF's Asia Pacific Department and the fund's mission chief for China, said the IMF expected China's economy to sustain its pace of growth despite a difficult international environment.

"This is borne out by a number of high frequency indicators out of China. These indicators suggest that activity has indeed been stabilizing into the third quarter, into the second half," Rodlauer told a conference in Tokyo.

He noted double-digit retail sales growth and figures for industrial added value and fixed asset investment as some examples of such indicators.

In July, the IMF called for more reforms to sustain China's impressive economic performance and kept its 2013 growth forecast at 7.75 percent, above Beijing's 7.5 percent target, although at the time it noted downside risks to the forecast.

Since then, however, a series of economic indicators has suggested that China is regaining traction after more than two years of cooling growth and prompted several investment banks to upgrade their outlooks.

At the same time, last month's jump in credit raised concerns that the authorities were easing up on their efforts to prevent a buildup of imbalances in the economy in order to prop up near-term growth.

The IMF is due to publish its new world economic outlook on October 8 ahead of the fund's annual meeting.

(Reporting by Tomasz Janowski; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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