Economists quizzed for a new survey have cautioned against external and policy risks that may ruin a widely expected pick-up in China's growth in the last quarter of 2012.
Forecasts for the economy's fourth-quarter growth made recently by 40 economists from domestic and foreign financial institutions averaged 7.7 percent, according to survey results released by Securities Market Weekly.
Growth in the world's second-largest economy declined to 7.4 percent in the third quarter, as exports dropped sharply on weak external market and the government tightened its policies to cap the runaway property market.
Nevertheless, the economists' projected figure would send the economy's full-year growth rate for 2012 to 7.7 percent, exceeding the government target of 7.5 percent.
Respondents to the survey also predicted the fourth quarter would see higher growth rates for fixed-asset investment, retail sales and exports, the three key growth drivers.
In spite of the upbeat sentiment, they warned that the deteriorating external environment, inadequate domestic policy support and worsening financial status of local governments and enterprises are the three major risks for the economy.
The economists were generally cautious toward recent easing policies introduced in economies such as the European Union and the United States, as effects of previous easing have fallen short of expectations.
Instead of boosting jobs, monetary easing will continue to hike their fiscal stress, while putting pressure on China's exports, according to Zhu Haibin from J.P. Morgan China, one of the 40 economists surveyed by Securities Market Weekly.
Meanwhile, the economists ruled out the possibility of interest rate cuts in the fourth quarter, and predicted a 50/50 chance of cuts in the amount that banks are required to put in reserves.
Authorities have been slow in relaxing monetary policies for fears that a similar stimuli like the 4-trillion-yuan (635 billion U.S. dollars) package in the 2008 crisis would lead to a rebound in inflation and the property market.
The central bank has so far twice slashed benchmark interest rates and the reserve ratio for banks this year in a bid to shore up growth.
The economists also forecast a stronger yuan as a result of global easing measures, estimating that the yuan's value against the U.S. dollar will strengthen to 6.28 by the end of 2012.
Moreover, full-year growth of the consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, was projected at 2.7 percent, far lower than the government target of 4 percent for 2012, the survey showed.