Chinese Cabinet says 2013 economic growth may be lower than 2012

Dec. 26, 2013 at 1:48 AM
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BEIJING, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- China's growth in 2013, affected by higher labor costs among other things, is expected to drop to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent in 2012, the Cabinet said.

In a report to the Legislature, the Cabinet said the 2013 estimate of the gross domestic product would be the third straight annual decline, from

9.3 percent in 2011 and 7.7 percent in 2012.

"We cannot deny a downward pressure on economic growth," Xu Shaoshi, minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, said when briefing lawmakers, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xu cited uncertainties in global economic recovery and failure of the international market to produce strong demand.

The growth pattern also has been affected by labor cost increases, rising environmental costs to enterprises, increasing risks from local government debt and overcapacity due to blind government investment in industrial projects, Xinhua said.

Xu said investing large amounts in low-profit infrastructure projects, industries with excess capacity and real estate projects has reduced liquidity and efficiency.

The report said future challenges include slow economic restructuring and worsening pollution. It called for comprehensive reform in various sectors. It said the government will continue cutting excess capacity in industries like steel, cement, electrolytic aluminum, glass and shipbuilding and stop the expansion of high energy users and polluters.

Earlier, the National Academy of Economic Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences had said China's economic growth next year is likely to be 7.5 percent. However, it said the GDP growth could reach 7.8 percent if all reform proposals are implemented and the global market shows a more robust recovery.

In other data, the latest Cabinet report said the annual disposable income of an urban resident rose to 24,500 yuan ($3,951 dollars) last year from 19,100 yuan in 2010. The annual net income of a rural resident reached about 7,900 yuan in 2012, up from 5,900 yuan in 2010.

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