(Yicai Global) Jan. 9 -- China's gross domestic product may increase 6.3 percent this year, according to the findings of Yicai Global's first survey of chief economists this year. That's 1 percentage point more than the International Monetary Fund's forecast.
Twenty-two chief economists at major financial institutions believe the government's supply-side reforms and other measures will lessen headwinds and help maintain a relatively strong growth rate, the monthly survey shows.
But economic growth will slow compared with 2018, according to a majority of those who took part in the study. They expect GDP gained 6.58 percent last year, more than a point less than they projected at the end of the third quarter. Last January, the IMF forecast a 6.6 percent clip for the whole year.
As long as trade frictions between China and the US come to an end and domestic demand stays stable, growth could reach 6.3 percent, said the State Information Center's Zhu Baoliang, adding that in reality, the figure could come in between 6 percent and 6.3 percent.
By mid-year, the Chinese yuan may buy about USD6.94, and USD6.90 by the end of 2019, the economists predict. The redback will maintain a relatively stable exchange rate against the US dollar, despite last year's growing flexibility. But traders have not started to panic, the survey shows.
The yuan will likely be under less pressure to depreciate against the dollar, while the US Dollar Index may turn around mid-year, said Pan Xiangdong from New Times Securities.
The Chinese central bank is likely to exercise a more proactive fiscal policy and ease its monetary policy this year, the study found.
The People's Bank of China cut the reserve requirement ratios for the country's lenders on Jan. 4 in the first sign of a more relaxed monetary policy, JD Finance's Shen Jianguang said, adding that the PBOC may move on to slash interest rates. He supports the government's idea of cutting taxes and fees, as outlined last week by Premier Li Keqiang.
Editor: Emmi Laine