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Think tank forecasts Q3 GDP growth at 10.2%
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China will record a GDP growth of 10.2 percent in the third quarter, roughly the same as the second-quarter level, according to a report released on Friday by the State Information Center, a government think tank.

The report predicted the consumer price index (CPI), a barometer of inflation, would rise by 6.6 percent for the third quarter.

Prices of agricultural products would continue to fall, which would contribute to the stabilization of the CPI.

Some observers believed that the pressure from the rising producer price index (PPI), which gauge ex-factory prices and influences CPI, might be a concern, but even taking into consideration its impact, consumer inflation might no longer exceed the February peak (a 12-year-high of 8.7 percent) in the coming months and the first half of next year.

The report said reconstruction in disaster affected areas would add to demand for investment, and spending on energy efficiency would become a new focal point.

It predicted fixed-asset investment nationwide would reach 4.77 trillion yuan (695.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter, a growth of 27.6 percent over the same period last year. The growth rate would be 1.3 percentage points higher than the first half.

The report said consumption would continue to be a major driving force for the national economy. However, auto and home purchases ebbed notably in the first half, adversely affecting consumption in the third quarter.

It forecast retail sales at 2.61 trillion yuan nationwide in the third quarter, up 20 percent. The growth rate would be 1.4 percentage points lower than the first-half level.

Over the first six months, China's GDP growth was 10.4 percent and CPI rise was 7.9 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency August 8,2008)

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