BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's economic growth may drop below 9 percent for the first time in 10 quarters, sapped by declining exports and fixed-asset investment, analysts predicted.
The gross domestic product (GDP)'s value is expected to expand by 8.8 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2011, said Song Yu, Goldman Sachs Asia's economist.
Wang Tao, Chinese economist at UBS AG, said the economy will slow to 8.6 percent in the fourth quarter and decelerate to 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012.
The downshift will prompt authorities to further ease monetary and fiscal policies, which may stimulate the economy starting from the second quarter of 2012, Wang noted.
Tang Yunfei, chief macroeconomic analyst at Founder Securities, predicted an even slower GDP growth of 8.5 percent for the fourth quarter, citing weaker industrial production.
Both Song and Tang put the annual economic growth for 2011 at 9.2 percent, the same pace recorded in 2009, when China took a blow from the global financial crisis.
China's economy grew 9.1 percent in the third quarter of 2011, down from 9.7 percent in the first quarter and 9.5 percent in the second quarter of last year.
The government tightened its monetary policies to fight inflation before fine-tuning the policies to offset the impact of waning external demand and the cooling property industry.
The National Bureau of Statistics will release quarterly and annual economic figures for 2011 on Tuesday.