BEIJING — China’s economy is likely to remain solid in the first quarter of this year, growing 6.8 percent from a year earlier, Goldman Sachs forecast.
The bank said in a research report that purchasing managers’ index (PMI) readings from both official and private surveys have implied firm activity growth overall. It expected China’s GDP growth to reach 6.6 percent for 2017.
Goldman Sachs expected China’s industrial production to rise 6.4 percent in March, slightly higher than the 6.3 percent growth for January and February.
Fixed asset investment growth is likely to remain strong, expanding 8.9 percent in the first three months of the year, unchanged from that in the first two months, according to Goldman Sachs.
It expected weaker auto sales to continue weighing on the country’s retail sales, which may increase 9.4 percent in March, slowing from the 9.5 percent growth registered in the first two months.
The bank said growth of the country’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, may rebound to 1.3 percent in March from 0.8 percent in February as distortions from the Chinese New Year effect disappeared.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, China’s economy grew 6.8 percent year on year. The Chinese government has targeted growth of around 6.5 percent this year.
The country is scheduled to release its first-quarter economic data, including GDP growth, fixed asset investment, industrial output and retail sales, on April 17.