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China can meet growth target: NDRC


10:17, August 01, 2013


•China has capability to achieve annual growth target of 7.5 pct this year: economic planner.

•"To achieve this goal, we have to make arduous efforts," Xu Shaoshi said.
• China's economy has been stuck in a protracted slowdown, easing to 7.5-pct growth in 2nd quarter.

China has the capability to achieve the government's annual economic growth target of 7.5 percent this year, Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner, said Wednesday.

"To achieve this goal, we still have to make arduous efforts," Xu told Xinhua in an online interview.

China's economy has been stuck in a protracted slowdown, easing to 7.5-percent growth in the second quarter from 7.7 percent in the first three months. Worries are growing that the prolonged slowdown could affect the global economy.

On Tuesday, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee pledged at a conference to keep the economy growing steadily in the second half of this year, amid "extremely complicated domestic and international conditions."

"Central authorities have sent a clear signal that they will keep their policies stable and persistent while also making them more targeted and coordinated. The policy is aimed at creating long-term and stable expectations for the market," Xu said.

To maintain steady growth, the government will introduce measures to boost consumer spending, maintain "reasonable growth of investment" and push "human-centered" urbanization, he noted.

Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, increased 12.7 percent from a year earlier, picking up by 0.3 percentage points from the January-March period. Online shopping sales surged by 80 percent, NDRC data shows.

Private capital is encouraged to invest in nursing homes, cultural and tourism industries, healthcare facilities and educational institutions. Credit spending is welcomed, according to Xu.

The growth of fixed-asset investment, a measure of government and private spending on infrastructure, stood at 20.1 percent during the first half of the year, down 0.8 percentage points over the first quarter of the year. Private investment grew 23.4 percent in January-June, accounting for 63.7 percent of the total.

"With a deepening process of industrialization, informationization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, China still enjoys big investment potential with a solid foundation. Investment is likely to keep stable growth this year," Xu said.

He noted the government will continue to clear barriers for private investment in infrastructure construction, key national projects and financial institution restructuring.

"A long-term mechanism for the stable and healthy development of the real estate industry should be established to promote the steady growth of property investment," the NDRC chief added.

At Tuesday's meeting, the central authorities agreed to continue to coordinate the tasks of stabilizing growth, restructuring the economy and promoting reforms.

In the next step, Xu said, the government will "waste no time" in introducing more reform measures to stimulate the economy.

The "to do list" includes reforms in the fiscal, tax and financial sectors, as well as railway investment reform and price reform of resource-based products.

Central authorities also reiterated at the meeting that "the macro policy should be stable, the micro policy should be flexible and the social policy should support the bottom line. All of them should be coordinated."

The direction, intensity and pace of macro regulation should be well managed, and a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy will remain in place, they concluded.

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