Beijing: China’s annual GDP growth slipped to a record low in the first quarter, but the quarter-on-quarter increase might point to a recovery, a domestic news portal reported on Wednesday.
“China’s annual GDP growth in the first quarter was higher than 6%, but lower than the 6.8% increase in the fourth quarter of 2008,” according to the the Shanghai Securities News website (www.cnstock.com).
Anything less than 6.8% would be the lowest since China’s quarterly growth records began in 1992. The article did not identify its sources.
In a separate article, the Shanghai Securities News website said that the State Council, or cabinet, would decide in a meeting on Wednesday whether to launch a new stimulus plan.
Speculation has been rife in recent days that China might announce a new spending package focused on boosting consumption to follow up on the 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion), two-year stimulus plan that it unveiled last November.
The website cited Southwest Securities analyst Dong Xian’an as saying that annualised quarter-on-quarter growth was 6% in the first quarter, compared with 1% in the last three months of 2008.
“Last year’s fourth quarter was the bottom for our economy and currently economic growth is evidently recovering,” he was paraphrased as saying.
The National Bureau of Statistics will announce GDP growth and other economic data for the first quarter at GMT 7:30am on Thursday.
Economists polled by Reuters forecast that China’s economy grew at an annual rate of 6.3% in the first quarter.