IMF: Chinese Economy Could Grow
IMF says Chinese economy could grow "well above" 7% in 2015.Reuters

China's economy will probably grow faster than previously expected in 2015, the International Monetary Fund has said, making light of the risks of the cooling property market in the world's second-largest economy.

Economic growth in China will likely be "well above" 7% next year, said Changyong Rhee, director of the Asia and Pacific department at the IMF.

Rhee's comments suggested the global lender will raise its growth forecast for the country, due in October, from the 7.1% projection made in July.

A slowing Chinese economy must not be looked at as a "pure risk", as it affords other Asian nations a better chance at competing with Beijing and attracting investments, Rhee said in Manila on 24 September.

Rhee also said the IMF does not expect China's rapidly slowing property market to pose a serious problem, saying it sees "a gradual adjustment" rather than a hard landing.

"We expect [China has] many tools to maintain the growth rate well above 7 percent next year," Rhee said.

"Evidence shows there will be a gradual adjustment in [the] real estate market but we have to watch if that baseline scenario will hold," Rhee added.

Realty Concerns Exist

But not everybody agrees. Capital Economics said in a note to clients that China's property sector still poses a significant headwind to its economy.

Capital Economics said: "September's HSBC/Markit's Flash Manufacturing PMI reading (data released on 23 September) suggests that conditions in the manufacturing sector have held up better than expected.

"The rebound from 50.2 in August to 50.5 this month was largely driven by stronger foreign demand, with the new export orders component surging to its highest level in over four years. The stronger than anticipated reading should ease hard landing concerns following last month's weak activity data.

"However, the property sector still poses a significant headwind to the economy and even if activity has picked up somewhat this month, we still expect growth to have slowed this quarter."

The IMF has said that it expects the Chinese economy to expand by 7.4% this year, slightly below Beijing's official 7.5% target.