China could exceed 2012 growth target

Jan. 11, 2013 at 4:14 PM

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A high-ranking official in China said the country's economic growth may have exceeded government expectations in 2012.

Last year's Chinese economic growth is expected to be 7.7 percent, beating the government forecast by 0.2 percentage points, said National Development and Reform Commission deputy minister Zhang Xiaoqiang this week.

China's state-run news agency Xinhua said Friday that factory production, investment and trade have recently improved, pushing the gross domestic product figure higher.

The official estimate of the country's GDP, released by the National Bureau of Statistics, is due next week.

The Chinese government took a cautious approach to adding fresh economic stimulus in the economy in 2012, fearing too much stimulus would trigger inflation.

Zhang predicted the inflation rate for the year would be close to 3.5 percent.

The government set an annual target of 8 percent but lowered that in March with the understanding that the global economy wasn't as supportive as it needed to be to hit 8 percent growth.

It was the first time in eight years the government set its growth target at less than 8 percent, Xinhua said.

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