will still keep a growth rate of eight percent this year despite the impact
of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), according to the latest report
released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
A group of CASS economic experts delivered an analysis on China 's post-SARS
economy development recently, which anticipates the negative impact of
SARS on China's economy will not exceed one percentage point in growth
of gross domestic product (GDP).
But the experts group lowered the original anticipation of this year's
GDP growth from 8.6 percent to eight percent.
The report said that the influence of SARS on China's social and economic
development is more minor than the impact of the Asian financial crisis
in 1997. And the SARS influence will be easier to overcome compared with
that of the financial crisis and the September 11 incident in the United
States in 2001.
According to the report, China's capital investment in fixed assets
is expected to grow 14.5 percent this year, higher than the average growth
rate since 1996. The per capita disposable income of China's urban residents
and rural people will increase 7.9 and 3.7 percents respectively.
The volume of retail sales in 2003 will rise by 10.4 percent, and the
consumer price index (CPI) is expected to grow 0.3 percent, said the report.
It said the state's fiscal revenue in 2003 will hit 15.8 percent and
the export growth will top 14.1 percent. The total volume of exports will
exceed that of imports by 10 billion US dollars this year.
The short term influence of SARS will first appear in some service industries,
causing a deficiency in social demand and reduction of people's income,
said the report.
The reduction of export orders and contracted foreign capital will also
bring a negative impact on China's economy.
The pressure caused by SARS on China's employment and finance also cannot
be ignored, said the report.