Xu Shaoshi, head of China's top economic planning body, told
lawmakers in a briefing on the report uncertainties remain in the
global economic recovery, and the international market has failed to
produce strong demand, Xinhua said late on Wednesday. Domestically,
higher labor and environmental costs for enterprises pose
challenges, he added.
"We cannot deny a downward pressure on economic growth," Xinhua
quoted Xu as saying. Xu is head of the National Development and
The forecast is in line with analysts' predictions of around 7.6-7.7
percent in 2013, but still puts China's growth near the weakest pace
since the Asian 1997-98 financial crisis.
Stability rather than fast growth remains the watchword as President
Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang seek to push through sweeping
plans to restructure China's economy so it is driven by consumption
and services rather than exports and investment.
Economic data for November showed sustained momentum from a mid-year
pick-up into the final quarter, indicating the economy was on track
to reach this year's official growth target.
Sources at top government think tanks told Reuters this week that
for 2014, China will likely use the same 7.5 percent growth target
it set for this year.
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The cabinet report also said that China will further enhance
interest-rate flexibility and coordination on using various
policies, including for fiscal, monetary, industrial, land use and
environmental ones, Xinhua said.
The government will carefully deal with the issue of local
government debt while ensuring reasonable needs for liquidity, the
Official figures for fourth-quarter and 2013 gross domestic product
will be announced next month.
(Reporting by Kazunori Takada; editing
by Paul Tait and Richard Borsuk)
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