Ex-PBOC Economist Sees ‘Aggressive’ Monetary Easing on Slowdown

China may cut benchmark interest rates up to two more times this year as part of “aggressive” easing to counter the nation’s slowdown, said Ding Shuang, a Citigroup Inc. economist.

“China’s economy is still on a downward trend,” Ding, who formerly worked for the People’s Bank of China, told Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong today. “We do not see a clear turning point yet, and policy support is very much needed in order to stabilize growth.”

The expansion this quarter may be “very weak” at 7 percent to 7.5 percent, Ding said after the government announced data for industrial production, inflation, fixed-asset investment and exports over the past two days. Better-than-forecast trade growth in May may not be sustained as a likely recession in the European Union restrains demand, he said.

The central bank last week cut rates for the first time since 2008 in what Ding said was a “very strong signal of more aggressive policy easing.”

Overseas shipments climbed 15.3 percent in May from a year earlier, the customs bureau said yesterday, exceeding all 29 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Industrial output rose by less than 10 percent for a second month and retail sales increased the least in almost six years excluding holiday-month distortions, statistics bureau reports showed June 9.

“Growth seems to have stabilized but at a very low level,” he said. “Industrial production continued to disappoint.”

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