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China's GDP to Grow A Bit Slower This Year
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China is expected to see a correction in GDP growth this year with the growth rate predicted at 9 percent, a bit slower than the past four years, a senior researcher said on Tuesday.

Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, a government think tank, said that driven by the real estate and automotive industries, the Chinese economy will continue to grow at an annual average rate of 7-8 percent in the coming 10 years.

Over the past four years, the economy kept growing by more than 10 percent annually. "The high growth usually finishes in a cycle of five years," he said.

Liu said that at the beginning of the 20th century, the United States maintained a fast economic growth, with the automotive, construction and steel industries as major driving forces. "China is now facing a similar situation," he added.

Based on the experience in developed nations that the real estate and automotive industries kept strong growth momentum by 20 years and 20-30 years respectively, Liu predicted that China's current fast economic growth, mainly shored up by the two sectors, would continue for another 10 years or so.

Liu also warned of possible bubbles in the real estate and stock markets, which would be caused by excessive liquidity.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2007)

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