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Slowdown in GDP Rise Expected

An expected mild slowdown of China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth next year will not affect the momentum of the economy, top government officials said yesterday.


The economy will stay in the fast-growth track next year, though the growth rate should decline moderately compared to this year, said Cao Yushu, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a financial conference yesterday in Beijing.


China's GDP rose by 9.5 percent in the first three quarters of the year, compared to 9.1 percent last year and 9.7 percent in the first half of this year.


Though investment expansion has declined, the growth rate is still high, while consumption, another major engine for the economy, is expected to pace up growth next year and exports will remain strong.


International experts have also generally predicted a soft-landing of the Chinese economy after years of fast expansion, as authorities carefully apply macroeconomic controls.


"China is still not ready to fully implement market tools to adjust the economy, so we have to combine administrative measures with the market mechanism," said Tang Xu, head of the Bureau of Policy Research at the People's Bank of China.


The central bank has been trying to apply more market-oriented tools in the macroeconomic adjustments, as reflected in the moderate interest rate hike recently.


(China Daily December 2, 2004)

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