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China's economic growth stabilizing, annual growth target attainable

(Xinhua)

08:04, October 19, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's economic growth has started to stabilize and shown positive changes, said a statement released after a State Council meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday.

The country is confident that with hard work it can reach its annual growth target, the statement said, citing key economic data that were unveiled to the public early on Thursday.

China's economy expanded by 7.7 percent year on year in the first three quarters, higher than the 7.5-percent annual economic growth target set for 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Thursday.

In the third quarter, the economy expanded 7.4 percent year on year, slowing from 7.6 percent in the second quarter and 8.1 percent in the first, NBS figures showed.

The gross domestic product reached 35.35 trillion yuan (5.61 trillion U.S. dollars) during the first three quarters of 2012, NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said at a press conference.

In the first three quarters of this year, China's retail sales grew 14.1 percent year on year to 14.94 trillion yuan, while fixed asset investment rose 20.5 percent year on year to 25.69 trillion yuan, Sheng said, adding that the country's industrial value-added output grew 10 percent year on year.

The statement attributed the positive changes in the economy to government pro-growth measures introduced earlier this year, which include more aggressive fiscal spending, structural tax reduction, monetary loosening and state-run sectors opening to private capital.

The government will continue to prioritize stabilizing growth and strive to do a better job in the fourth quarter, which will play a significant role in attaining the year's growth target, the statement said.

The government will continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, effectively carrying out the structural tax reduction policy and maintaining appropriate money supply, it said.

China's central bank has lowered both banks' reserve requirement ratio and interest rates twice this year in a bid to buoy the slowing economy, which has been dragged down by global economic woes and equally weak domestic demand.

While sticking to its control measures over the real estate market, the government will also step up efforts in studying and formulating a regulation system that is more stable and predictable, the statement said.

China has spent the last two years trying to cool skyrocketing home prices -- a major source of public complaint -- by introducing a raft of tightening measures such as bans on third home purchases and property tax trials.

The statement said efforts will also be made to expand consumption of energy-efficient home appliances and increase financial supports for key national projects that are under construction.

Moreover, the government will focus its energy on deepening reforms in the finance and taxation, investment and financing, electricity pricing and administrative approval sectors, while carrying out measures to boost foreign trade, the statement said.

China's exports rose to a record monthly high of 9.9 percent year on year to 186.35 billion U.S. dollars in September, due to government support policies and surging orders for the Christmas shopping season, customs data showed.

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