The parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut remains optimistic about the China market, despite predictions that China’s economic growth will slow to single digits this year for the first time since 2002, Reuters reported. In a conference call with analysts, Yum Brands CEO David Novak said he agreed with estimates that China’s economy would grow by about 8% in 2009 and said that Yum could thrive in any economy growing at that rate. Yum this week posted a 4% net profit increase for the third quarter, fueled by growth in China, lower-than-expected taxes, beneficial foreign exchange rates and share buybacks. But Yum’s China business is slowing. Sales at mainland restaurants that have been open at least one year were up by only 5% in the most recent quarters, compared with year-earlier growth of 11%.