BEIJING (AP) -- China's economy is improving and growth might top 7.5 percent for the quarter that ended in June, a central bank researcher said in an official journal.
Growth is benefiting from Beijing's stimulus spending and rising investment and consumption, said Zhang Jianhua, chief of the bank's research bureau, in an article in the July issue of the bank's magazine, China Finance.
"Though the world economy still faces a large contraction and domestic growth faces some uncertainties, in general our economy is recovering," Zhang wrote. "We forecast second quarter GDP growth will surpass 7 percent or even 7.5 percent."
The government is due to report quarterly economic data next week. The economy expanded by 6.1 percent in the January-to-March quarter from a year earlier.
The World Bank raised its 2009 growth forecast for China from 6.5 percent to 7.2 percent last month. Private sector economists have raised their 2009 forecasts to between 6.8 percent and 8.5 percent.
The communist government is trying to shield China from the global downturn with a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion), two-year spending package. It aims to boost domestic consumption by pumping money into building highways and other public works.
Premier Wen Jiabao and other Chinese leaders have said the stimulus is starting to show positive results, though they say the economy is still vulnerable to global conditions. They have warned against complacency.
Zhang said China's GDP growth for 2009 was expected to achieve the government's target of 8 percent. He said growth should rise to 8 percent in the third quarter and to 9 percent in the final three months of the year.
China's power output, manufacturing and bank lending all improved in June, according to government data. Trade fell in June from a year earlier but the decline was less severe than in May, a deputy commerce minister said last week.
Associated Press researcher Bonnie Cao in Beijing contributed to this report.