BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Economists in China are optimistic about growth prospects in the first quarter (Q1), a survey showed Friday.
Of economists surveyed, 28.2 percent forecast faster year-on-year economic growth in Q1, up by ten percentage points from a quarter ago, according to the Institute of Industrial Economics (IIE) under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Only 20.6 percent expect growth to slow, significantly down from the 45.6 percent seen in the last quarter.
China's GDP registered a 6.7-percent year-on-year increase in Q1 of 2016. Growth for Q1 is scheduled to be released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on April 17.
Confidence in the economy has improved, the IIE said, citing a marked increase of its economic climate index, which rose to 105 from 68 in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Nearly two thirds of the economists expect rising prices in Q1, while more than 30 percent believe exports will increase.
The IIE collected opinions from 130 economic scholars from universities, research and financial institutions, and consulting firms in China.
February's indicators of trade and investment have pointed to continued momentum in the economy.
Analysts believe the economic development in recent months laid a sound foundation for the country to realize its full-year targets. The government trimmed its 2017 growth target to around 6.5 percent, the lowest target in a quarter of a century.