News / Asia

World Bank Says Chinese Economy Healthy

World Bank Says Chinese Economy Healthy
World Bank Says Chinese Economy Healthy
Peter Simpson

The World Bank says China's economy has continued to grow robustly so far this year but is showing signs of softening.

The quarterly report comes on the same day China once more told the rest of the world not to meddle with the way it manages its currency, the yuan.

The World Bank's latest update on the state of the Chinese economy says any slow down after year's massive stimulus package has been offset by strong real estate investments and an increase in exports.

The World Bank's senior economist Louis Kuijs says growth is likely to ease slightly from the very rapid pace in the first quarter.  He says he expects GDP growth to be 9.5 percent for the rest of this year and drop slightly next year to 8.5 percent.

The Chinese economy will continue on what Kuijs describes as a very healthy rate of expansion.

He suggests China should raise interest rates to help stop its economy overheating. And he joined those in the U.S. and Europe by saying China's exchange rate needs to be strengthened against other international currencies.

"We spent quite a bit of time discussing how in the context of rebalancing, how it might help China to have a somewhat stronger exchange rate, and we talk about the regime and about introducing more flexibility," Kuijs said.

Kuijs says a stronger yuan would help to reduce inflation and encourage domestic consumption in China.

The World Bank report was released on the same day China once more told the rest of the world not to meddle with the way it manages its currency, the yuan.

Currently, the World Bank says China has effectively pegged its currency, the yuan, at about 6.8 to the U.S. dollar. But U.S. lawmakers have complained that gives Chinese exporters an unfair advantage by making their products cheaper in global markets.

The global money markets are expecting the issue to come up at next week's Group of 20 summit in Canada.

But one of the countries vice foreign ministers Cui Tiankai dismissed such discussions.

He told reporters earlier on Friday China's currency was an internal matter and should not be – as he says – discussed internationally.

Beijing is under pressure from Washington and Brussels to let the yuan rise in value to help reduce the large U.S. and European trade deficits with China.

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