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China economy to grow 6.7 pct this year: think tank

China’s economy is expected to grow by 6.7 percent in 2016 thanks largely to expansion in domestic consumption, said the Center for Forecasting Science under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Tuesday.

Chinese state-run newspaper People’s Daily quoted the think tank saying the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) would expand at 6.5 percent in the first half of this year before accelerating to 6.8 percent in the second half. The growth for the whole year would “remain stable”, it stressed.

Consumption would be the main driver of the economy in 2016, contributing 4 percent of the rise in GDP, while investment and net exports would contribute 2.6 percent and 0.1 percent respectively of the uptick, said the think tank.

The consumer price index is expected to rise 1.8 percent this year, up from approximately 1.5 percent last year, while exports would resume growth again in 2016 at 3.9 percent, it added.

In the first three quarters of last year, China’s economy grew by 6.9 percent. The full-year 2015 expansion is expected to be the slowest annual growth in 25 years.