China’s meteoric growth fuels debate over policy

CHINA saw strong year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 11.9 per cent, prompting renewed calls for tighter policies to prevent the world’s third-largest economy from bubbling over.

The rate of expansion was flattered by a low base of comparison a year earlier, when the economy was reeling from the global financial crisis.

The figures, released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics, were sturdy and economists said a firmer policy stance was needed to nip inflation in the bud.

Some economists noted that the government is winding back its anti-crisis spending and has ordered banks to reduce new lending.

And while property prices leapt 11.7 per cent in the year to March, consumer inflation remains under control. The consumer price index rose 2.4 per cent in the year to March, below market expectations of a 2.6 per cent increase.