Tue, Mar 20, 2012 - Page 10 News List

China is headed for a soft landing as property slides: IMF

Bloomberg

IMF official Zhu Min (朱民) said China will avoid an economic hard landing even as government data showed property prices falling in most of the nation’s biggest cities.

New home prices fell in 27 of 70 cities last month from a year earlier and prices were unchanged in six cities, the national statistics bureau said on Sunday. Prices of new apartments fell in 45 of 70 cities in February from January, the bureau said.

“China’s heading for a soft landing,” Zhu, a deputy managing director at the IMF, said in Hong Kong yesterday.

At the same conference, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens also expressed confidence in an economy he said is closing in on that of the US.

DISAGREEMENT

Zhu’s comments contrast with JPMorgan Chase & Co strategist Adrian Mowat saying last week that weakness in car sales and cement and steel production indicate the nation is already experiencing “a hard landing.”

Zhu, a former deputy governor of China’s central bank, said China’s pace of investment remained strong even after moderating. Stevens said that “it seems likely that the Chinese economy will grow pretty strongly on average for a while yet,” adding that officials have “the will and the capacity” to spur the expansion as needed.

POWERING AHEAD

The Australian said Chinese GDP may equal that of the US in about a decade in purchasing power parity terms, which account for differences in exchange rates.

Zhu, meanwhile, echoed IMF head Christine Lagarde in highlighting risks to the global economy even as he acknowledged signs of improvement.

Europe’s financial markets are “very fragile” and while emerging market growth is strong, it’s “weaker than expected,” he said. World expansion is slowing, he added.

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