"We have had initial proof that the economy has bottomed out and
may be entering a new period of steady growth, thanks to more
stabilized final demand," said Liu Shijin, vice-chairman of
state think-tank the China Development Research Foundation.
The economy has now escaped the slowing trajectory of the past
seven years, Liu told an economic forum in Beijing, predicting
the new medium-speed new stage would probably last for about ten
years, going by the example of Western nations.
China's economic growth of 6.7 percent in 2016 was its slowest
pace in 26 years.
Liu dismissed growing rhetoric that China is entering a new
economic cycle of strongly rebounding growth, after having
recorded a better-than-expected increase of 6.9 percent in gross
domestic product (GDP) in the first two quarters.
"I don't think such a new cycle exists," he said, stressing that
a surprise pick-up in real estate investment - a major driver of
economic growth in China - in 2016 did not reverse a slowing
trend following its 2013 peak.
He expected growth in the sector to slow to a new normal of
about 2 percent in the second half this year, adding, "It should
not be seen as abnormal if there is no growth or negative
Real estate investment in China grew 6.9 percent in 2016,
official data showed.
(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Clarence
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