China is poised to report its first population decline in five decades following a once-in-a-decade census, the Financial Times newspaper said, citing sources familiar with the matter. Reuters: A population drop will add pressure on Beijing to roll out measures to encourage couples to have more children and avert an irreversible decline. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which is due to release the results of the census conducted late last year in early April, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The population figure is very sensitive and will not be published until government departments have a consensus on the data and its implications, the Financial Times added on Tuesday, citing its sources.
“If China confirms such a decline, it would be a big deal,” said Zhiwei Zhang, the Shenzhen-based chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. “The consensus expects China’s population to peak at 2027, based on the projection made by the United Nations. This would be much earlier than the market and policy makers expected.”
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