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Staying on Target

(Beijing Review)

13:58, August 22, 2012

SET SAIL: A cargo ship is loaded at a container berth in Huanghua Port of Cangzhou, Hebei Province (Beijing Review/Yang Shiyao)

China's economic growth continues to slow as predicted. According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China's GDP grew by 7.6 percent in the second quarter, 0.5 percentage points lower than the growth in the first quarter. The GDP growth has dropped for five consecutive quarters. Its growth rate in the first half of the year was 7.8 percent. Meanwhile, the growth of the consumer price index (CPI) declined to 2.2 percent in June, further alleviating the inflation burden on consumers. Now, slow economic growth and low inflation have become the main characteristics of the Chinese economy.

Despite the slowdown, worries of a possible hard landing are unfounded since growth is still within the expected range set by the government earlier this year. According to the government work report, the target of economic growth this year is 7.5 percent.

To cope with the slowdown, the government has launched a series of measures, as addressed in Beijing Review's cover story of issue No. 25 this year. Particularly, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, lowered benchmark interest rates on July 6 for the second time in a month. This indicates the government's intention to relax monetary supply and raise market liquidity to stimulate the economy.

Zhang Liqun, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said the government's top priority must be preventing the slowdown from affecting people's lives.

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