China’s GDP goal on track despite virus impact

BEIJING: China will be able to achieve its long-term goal of doubling gross domestic product and incomes this year despite the impact from a conoravirus outbreak, an influential economist at a top government think tank said on Wednesday.
The virus outbreak will only have a one-off hit on the economy and demand will recover quickly, Cai Fang, the vice head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said in an article in the People’s Daily.
“Although the temporary impact caused by the epidemic will slightly reduce the growth rate and other development indicators, it will not delay the fulfillment of the goal of building a moderately prosperous society,” Cai said.
This year is crucial for the ruling Communist Party to fulfill its goal of doubling gross domestic product and incomes in the decade to 2020.
A growth rate of about 5.7 per cent this year will be enough for achieving the goal of doubling GDP and incomes, Cai said.
Analysts believe growth could decelerate sharply by 2 percentage points or more from a 6 per cent expansion in the last quarter, but they say business and consumer activity could rebound sharply if the outbreak peaks soon, much like the pattern during the SARS epidemic in 2003. — Reuters