July 1 (Bloomberg) -- China's manufacturing expanded for a fourth
Higher GDP Forecasts
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase & Co. this weekraised their forecasts for second quarter growth. The former expectssecond-quarter GDP growth of 7.6 percent, compared with 7.2 percentpreviously. JPMorgan increased its forecast to 6.9 percent from 6percent. The government's 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus plan andbank lending of 5.84 trillion yuan in the first five months, almosttriple lending a year earlier, are driving growth after exportscollapsed. The outlook is improving in some of China's largest export markets.Consumer confidence in the U.K. rose to a 14-month high in June andoptimism over the economic outlook in Europe rose to the highest sinceNovember. Investor George Soros said June 22 that the worst of theglobal recession "is behind us." China's lending boom sparked a 32.9 percent surge in urbanfixed-asset investment in the first five months, the fastest growth infive years. New loans in June may exceed 1 trillion yuan, triple lendingin the same month a year earlier, China Business News reported June 30.