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China eyes stable growth in 2012 amid "extremely grim" outlook

(Xinhua)

17:11, January 12, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China will seek stable and relatively fast economic growth next year amid the "extremely grim and complicated" global outlook, according to a statement issued after the closure of a three-day central economic work conference on Wednesday.

The conference agreed to set the main theme of next year's economic and social development as "making progress while maintaining stability," the statement said. The plans mapped out at the conference will chart the course of next year's economic work.

"Stability means to maintain basically steady macro-economic policy, relatively fast economic growth, stable consumer prices and social stability," the statement said.

"To make progress, we must seize this strategically important development period to make new advances and breakthroughs in transforming China's economic development model, deepen reform and improve people's lives," it said.

The statement indicated Chinese policy makers' intention to shore up growth while avoiding reawakening the inflation dragon, analysts said.

"China must stabilize economic growth to prevent a sharp plunge, which might dampen employment and cause social problems," said Zhu Baoliang, deputy director of the Economic Forecast Department of the State Information Center, a government think tank.

China's economic growth has been slowing all year. Its GDP growth slowed to 9.1 percent in the third quarter from 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first quarter.

Growth of the consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, eased to 4.2 percent in November from this year's peak of 6.5 percent in July. It was the slowest pace seen since last September, when it rose 3.6 percent.

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