The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday it has cut its 2011 growth forecast for China, citing weak external demand from its key trading partners and the government's efforts to cool inflation.
The regional lender trimmed its 2011 growth estimate for China to 9.3 percent from 9.6 percent projected in April.
"Downside risks to the growth outlook relate mainly to uncertainty over external demand, in particular from the European Union, the country's largest trading partner," ADB Chief Economist Rhee Chang-yong said in a press conference here.
The 2011 estimate for China's inflation has been revised up to 5.3 percent from 4.6 percent, largely as a result of a sharp spike in food prices.
Those pressures are expected to ease in the second half and inflation is expected to pull back to 4.2 percent in 2012 on softer global commodity prices, along with further appreciation of the yuan, ADB said in an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2011, released Wednesday.
The tighter monetary conditions and weak demand from Europe and the United States saw growth moderate in the first six months of 2011 with the ongoing wind back of stimulus measures after the global economic crisis slowing public investment in infrastructure, the bank said.
For 2012, the growth forecast is lowered slightly to 9.1 percent.
ADB expected that fiscal policy in China will be expansionary going into 2012, with increased spending on education, health care and in other social sector areas.
"An overall budget deficit equivalent to 2.1 percent of GDP is projected for 2011 and 2012," said Rhee. "Given this strong fiscal position, there is scope to run a somewhat more stimulatory fiscal policy in 2012 if GDP growth prospects dim."
For 2012, fixed asset investment is likely to remain the major growth driver with continued strong investment in housing. Private consumption should also pick up, as well as exports, provided world trade conditions improve, ADB said.