International organizations and investment banks intensively raised their projections for China's economic growth in 2023 following impressive recovery of the country's consumption market during the Spring Festival holidays. Some economists on an optimistic note predicted China's GDP may post strong 6 percent year-on-year growth at most this year, buoyed by the country's optimized epidemic response and effective pro-growth policies, injecting confidence and impetus into the global economic recovery.
The Chinese economy is projected to grow 5.2 percent year-on-year in 2023, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook, up 0.8 percentage points from its projection in October.
In addition, Morgan Stanley raised its outlook for China's GDP growth this year to 5.7 percent from 5.4 percent, predicting that a rebound in activity will come earlier and be sharper than expected, according to media reports.
Global leading asset management firm Vanguard recently upgraded its forecast for economic growth in China to 5.3 percent from the 4.5 percent after a strong fourth-quarter performance, according to a press release on the company's website.
Besides, Swiss investment bank UBS AG upgraded its forecast to 4.9 percent growth, according to a note sent to the Global Times.
Experts said these international institutions' bullish predictions for China's economy reflected growing international confidence on the economic recovery of the world's second-largest economy on the back of the dynamism shown during the Spring Festival holidays in January. They may further upgrade their forecasts along with the stable recovery of the Chinese economy.
In the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, China saw nearly 2.9 million cross-border trips, up 120.5 percent year-on-year, and 308 million domestic trips, up 23.1 percent. Box office nationwide raked in 6.76 billion yuan ($1 billion), the second-highest figure for the annual holiday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
"China's economy may grow 6 percent year-on-year at most in 2023," Chen Fengying, an economist and former director of the Institute of World Economic Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Saturday.
Chen attributed to swift economic recovery to strong policy support, fewer COVID-19 disruption as well as impressive growth in emerging sectors. "This year, the central government and localities have moved to announce policies prior to two sessions to support the overall recovery of the economy, whereas the development of emerging sectors such as PV and new-energy vehicles would further help stabilize employment and thus further release residents' consumption power," she said.
Cao Heping, an economist at Peking University, also shared similar views. He told the Global Times on Saturday that China's GDP growth rate may reach between 6-6.5 percent.
Apart from consumer spending, there are some new growth points in digital economy and infrastructure, according to Cao. "There are new investment opportunities in the restoration of infrastructure and networks in rural areas, combined with the digital upgrading of road, railway, ports and other large-scale infrastructure projects as well as the development of computing power, which would give birth to new industries and greatly transform China's economy," he said.
As an important tool in expanding domestic demand and stepping up supply-side structural reform, the country's infrastructure investment will outperform investment in the manufacturing sector and real estate sector, as the authorities have pledged to continue proactive fiscal policy and step up fund-raising for key projects in line with national development planning, according to a research report released by the Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in a report released on January 28.
At a time of mounting challenges for world economic recovery, great expectations have been placed on China. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters in January, "There is a great deal of hope that China's reopening would lead through 2023 to a better impact on global growth," according to a transcript on the IMF's website.
The IMF projected that China's contribution for global economic growth would reach 25 percent in 2023.
The stable recovery of Chinese economy will provide a boost to the recovery and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the broader global economy, according to Chen, noting that the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation would be a valuable opportunity for emerging markets and developing countries to promote trade and attract investment.