Xi says China will meet 7.5 percent growth this year

July 30, 2013 at 11:38 PM
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BEIJING, July 30 (UPI) -- President Xi Jinping, saying China's economy is expanding steadily, assured the growth target of 7.5 percent for this year will be met.

The president's assurance Tuesday came even as various indicators have shown the country's economy is slowing after years of double digit growth.

Xi spoke at a meeting of the politburo of the Communist Party's Central Committee to discuss the government's economic strategy for the second half of the year, China Daily reported.

The meeting decided that China will "maintain steady growth, adjust economic structure, and forge ahead with reform" to guarantee "this year's key tasks for economic and social development will be fulfilled," the report said.

It was noted major economic indicators during the first half of the year are still in a reasonable range, despite extremely complicated domestic and international conditions.

"The economy will maintain steady growth in the second half of this year," said a statement, while stressing the need to prepare for complex and difficult situations, as the global economic recovery has not been progressing well.

China's economic growth rate in the second quarter slowed to 7.5 percent from 7.7 percent in the first three months. The consumer price index, China's main gauge of inflation, increased by 2.4 percent year-on-year during the first half, compared with 3.3 percent in the same period of 2012. The target for all of this year is 3.5 percent.

Steps to guide macroeconomic policy in the coming months will include upgrading public consumption, maintaining rational investment growth and encouraging healthy development of the real estate market, the report said. There will also be efforts to strengthen policy support and services for small and medium-sized enterprises, stabilizing foreign trade, broadening exports and raising imports, while encouraging qualified enterprises to invest overseas.

Zhu Haibin, chief China economist with J.P. Morgan, told China Daily he expects "the economy's sequential growth momentum to stabilize and improve modestly in the second half."

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