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Fiscal policy makers to set goal for 2013 GDP growth

By Chen Jia and Wei Tian in Sanya, Hainan  (China Daily)

10:26, December 17, 2012

Top policy-makers gathered in Beijing on Saturday for a two-day meeting to draw up the framework for next year's economic growth, and plot important long-term reforms.

In the run-up to the event, the Shanghai stock market surged 4.32 percent on Friday, its largest increase since November 2009.

The once-a-year Central Economic Work Conference usually provides the first glimpse into the priorities for the world's second largest economy in the coming year.

Economists and analysts said the conference is likely to set the goal for 2013's GDP growth at between 7.5 and 8 percent, and to highlight, more than ever before, the role of urbanization as the key driving force for China's development in the next stage.

Policy-makers will also set the targets for inflation, while clarifying the bottom line for the nation's fiscal and monetary policies in tandem with growth guidelines.

In 2012, China's GDP growth is targeted at 7.5 percent and most economists said it is achievable, judging from the country's performance up to now.

Its inflation target, in terms of consumer price indices, is set at 4 percent, and it is almost certain that actual figures would stay below the mark.

Economists and analysts are closely monitoring this year's conference in particular because the national leadership is in a once-a-decade transition.

The Communist Party of China has just elected new leaders in November. The new State leadership, including a new cabinet, is expected to emerge from the National People's Congress session in March 2013.

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