SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's economy faces risks to growth next year from an expected slowdown in the property market, a central bank adviser told the official China Securities Journal.
Huang Yiping, a monetary policy committee member of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and Peking University professor, told the newspaper the fourth quarter of the year and early next year could bring fresh downward pressure on growth.
"I predict that in December and January next year economic activity will be more feeble, increasing economic risks for next year," Huang said.
He noted that freight demand had started to slow, while power generation and coal consumption were also weakening.
"In the short term, the pressure can come from the property market," Huang said, underlining the risks for the world's second largest economy despite recent signs of stabilizing growth.
A red-hot housing market, a big support for growth this year, is expected to have slowed in November on the back of a recent raft of curbs to cool prices, Huang said.
Therefore, the property market will provide less support to growth than in the past year or so, he said, suggesting the government should set annual economic growth target at a 6-7 percent range for 2017, compared with third quarter growth of 6.7 percent.
Huang also told the newspaper that speculation of depreciation in the yuan would curb expansionary monetary policies.
"To reverse the depreciation speculation fundamentally, we will continue to work on structural reform and stabilize the expectation for economic growth," he said.
The yuan has hit the skids in recent weeks, slumping to 8-1/2-year lows and prompting the central bank to impose curbs on capital flows and intervening in the forex market to stabilize the currency.
Economists have warned the recent uptick in the economy may be short-lived and say the recovery appears to be driven more by monetary easing that reforms.
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Winni Zhou; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)