Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News estimated that China's economy grew 11.7% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. The development could put pressure on government officials to raise interest rates and allow the yuan to increase in value. The economists largely agreed that China is likely to drop the yuan's peg to the U.S. dollar and allow the currency to appreciate by June 30. "It's a good time to move on the yuan -- when growth is strong and before international pressure becomes too intense for the domestic palate," said Wang Tao, an economist at UBS.

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