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Reform 'means slightly slower growth'

Updated: 2013-12-11 00:09
By Li Yang ( China Daily)

Reform 'means slightly slower growth'
A foreign merchant looks over the goods at a fair in Yiwu, Zhejiang province. Global demand for Chinese products is likely to improve in 2014, according to experts. [Photo / China Daily]

Analysts are issuing their forecasts for China's 2014 outlook. Many believe that GDP growth will be as strong as this year — or maybe a bit lower — as the nation carries out reforms.

This year, GDP growth is likely to be 7.6 percent, just a touch above the official target of 7.5 percent.

Global demand for Chinese products is likely to improve in 2014, so the government doesn't need to make any deliberate attempt to push the growth rate back above 8 percent, analysts said.

Some key think tanks have already suggested that the growth target should be lower next year.

Zhu Baoliang, a senior economist with the State Information Center, a government think tank, warned that China must avoid repeating its mistake of "blind pursuit of growth".

The center released a report on Dec 2 saying that China should lower its growth target to 7 percent to allow for structural changes.

The Institute of Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has reportedly suggested that 7 percent GDP growth will be sufficient for China to complete its goals for the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, told a forum in late November that "steadiness" will be the economy's keynote for 2014. Another PBOC official, Vice-Governor Yi Gang, said GDP growth will hover at about 7 percent for the foreseeable future.

Several think tanks have called for a consumer price index target of 3.5 percent for next year and growth in M2 money supply of 13 percent.

They said that China will maintain a proactive fiscal policy (emphasizing many government-led investment projects) and a prudent monetary policy (cautious about credit creation).

The actual targets will come out of the Central Economic Work Conference, which opened on Tuesday in Beijing. Even those numbers won't be final until they're approved by the top legislature —the National People's Congress — in March as part of the premier's Government Work Report to the lawmakers.

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