CHINA: GDP UP TO 7.3%
China's economic growth may be as high as 7.3 percent this year, partly due to falling commodity prices, the official Xinhua news agency quoted an academic advisor to the central bank's monetary policy committee as saying on Saturday.
Song Guoqing was also quoted telling a forum that China's consumer price index may rise in 2015 by about 1.6 percent, saying the sharp decline in prices of commodities including crude oil, iron ore and copper presented "a large bonus" for the economy.
Xinhua said Song's views were echoed by Ma Jun, chief economist of the People's Bank of China's (PBOC) research bureau.
The central bank had said in a report seen by Reuters in mid-December China's economic growth could slow to 7.1 percent in 2015 from an expected 7.4 percent last year.
China's annual economic growth likely slowed to 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the weakest since the depths of the global crisis, a Reuters poll in early January showed, which would keep pressure on policymakers to head off a sharper slowdown this year.
The expected slowdown in growth of the world's second-largest economy, from 7.3 percent in the June-September quarter, means the full-year figure would undershoot the government's 7.5 percent target and mark the weakest expansion in 24 years.
China's reform-minded leaders have shown greater tolerance of slower growth, but a further slowdown could fuel job losses and undermine public support for changes.
The PBOC unexpectedly cut interest rates in November for the first time in more than two years, aiming to lower borrowing costs and support growth. Later, it loosened loan restrictions to encourage banks to step up lending.
At the forum, Ma estimated annual gross domestic output growth would increase by 0.12 percentage point if the price of crude oil drops by 10 percent year on year, Xinhua said.
The government is expected to announce fourth-quarter GDP on Jan. 20.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.