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China's Q1 GDP growth impressive, even faster pace expected: Croatian economist

Updated: April 19, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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This photo taken on March 15, 2023 shows excavators to be shipped at a port in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo by Wang Chun/Xinhua)

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both raised their expectations of China's economic growth this year.

ZAGREB, April 18 (Xinhua) -- China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 is impressive and it signals even stronger growth for this year, Ljubo Jurcic, a prominent Croatian economist and former economy minister, told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday.

"In my opinion, the Chinese economy will grow by over 6 percent by the end of this year," Jurcic said.

China's GDP grew 4.5 percent year-on-year in Q1, the country's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday. "China's national economy made a good start this year, and market expectation saw significant improvement," NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui told journalists.

The spokesperson was echoed by Jurcic, who said China's economy "is just warming up" for a strong rebound later this year.

"It is a good start. China's economy will not grow 8 or 9 percent as it used to, but 6 percent for this year is quite realistic," Jurcic said.

Consumers purchase goods for the Chinese New Year at a fruit market in Yiwu, east China's Zhejiang Province, Jan. 17, 2023. (Photo by Gong Xianming/Xinhua)

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both raised their expectations of China's economic growth this year.

The World Bank increased its economic growth projection for China to 5.1 percent in 2023, significantly above its January forecast of 4.3 percent. The IMF expects China's GDP growth to reach 5.2 percent this year, a substantial 2 percentage point increase over the 2022 figure.

Jurcic explained that the World Bank and the IMF have their specific methods for forecasting economic growth. This, he said, is "not a usual situation" as China is opening up after the COVID-19 pandemic and economic activities are accelerating to make up for the losses caused by the pandemic, so China's actual growth rate could be higher than expected.

This photo taken on March 2, 2023 shows wind power blades to be exported at Yantai Port in Yantai, east China's Shandong Province.(Photo by Tang Ke/Xinhua)

Furthermore, China's strong economic rebound is beneficial not only to the country itself but also to the whole world, as it will help boost the world economy, Jurcic said, recalling that IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's similar argument. Accordingly, China is expected to contribute about one-third of global economic growth in 2023 and provide a welcome boost to the world economy.

According to Jurcic, China has already replaced the United States and become the locomotive of the world economy.

"That used to be the United States, but now China has taken the lead. Although China's GDP is still lower than that of the United States or Europe, but its growth is two or three times higher," Jurcic said, adding that the World Bank expects the global economic growth rate to drop from 3.1 percent in 2022 to 2 percent this year, and that the U.S. economic growth rate is expected to slow down from 2.1 percent in 2022 to 1.2 percent this year.  

Editor: Yang Yifan