BEIJING, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese economy will maintain steady growth this year as structural reforms have made notable progress, an expert has said.
ICBC International economist Cheng Shi predicts China's GDP will grow 6.9 percent year-on-year in 2018, with continued strength from last year.
"We remain cautiously optimistic about China's economic future, and areas related to the new economy and consumption upgrades will create fresh investment opportunities," Cheng said.
The country's retail sales are expected to rise 10.3 percent for the whole year, fixed asset investment up 7.1 percent, and imports up 20.5 percent. Inflation will remain tame, with the consumer price index up 2.4 percent.
Cheng attributed the solid economic indicators in part to China's successful economic transition and opening up.
"The supply-side structural reform has made great progress and serves as the backbone of the country's new economic resilience," Cheng said.
Thanks to restructuring policies, the economy witnessed a rosy start in 2018, with improving corporate profits and robust private investment. Financial risks were also eased as macro leverage growth slowed and shadow banking shrank substantially.
Cheng said tech firms flourished with the help of innovations in the capital market.
"A positive cycle between reforms and economic resilience has taken shape, creating enormous room and momentum for further reforms in the second half of the year," Cheng said.
The economy has held steady since the beginning of the year against rising uncertainties in global markets.