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WB raises China 2008 growth forecast to 9.8%
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In view of China's strong growth of its service sector, the World Bank (WB) raised its forecast for China's 2008 economic growth to 9.8 percent in a report released on today.

In April, it forecast a 9.4 percent growth, down from the 9.6 percent prediction made in the beginning of 2008 and 10.8 percent made in mid 2007.

The upward revision this time largely reflected data showing stronger service sector growth of China's revised GDP data, said the World Bank in a Quarterly Update for China.

China's National Bureau of Statistics has raised the country's GDP growth for last year by half a percentage point to 11.9 percent, the fastest since 1994. The increased GDP volume was also driven by services industry growth, according to the bureau. The WB report said most developing and emerging markets, like China, would outperform high-income countries as they were less directly exposed to the financial turmoil and would see a modest, orderly slowdown.

China's economic growth had moderated to a more sustainable pace, which in part reflected less buoyant investment, but the country's domestic economy was holding up well, it said.

Exports, backed up by the country's strong international competitiveness and a robust domestic economy, would support China's growth for 2008 amid weak and uncertain global prospects, it claimed.

It noted that although damages of the earthquake hitting southwestern China in May to the affected area was huge, the macroeconomic impact was likely to be modest as the affected area accounted for only a small part of China's economy.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)

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