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POLITICAL ECONOMY
Wen sees China meeting growth target: Xinhua
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 15, 2012


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said the country will be able to meet economic targets this year, including growth of at least 7.5 percent, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Speaking during a recent tour of the eastern province of Zhejiang, Wen said China was still facing economic pain despite some changes for the better from July, the report said.

"The foundation of the economy is still not solid. Economic difficulties might still continue for a period of time," Wen was quoted as saying.

China's economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, its slowest pace in more than three years.

China last week released economic data for July -- including trade, industrial output and retail sales figures -- which pointed to continued weakness in the domestic economy and raised hopes for monetary easing.

But Wen expressed confidence that China's economy would stay on track.

"We have the conditions and the ability to definitely meet this year's economic and social targets," he said.

Among those targets, China in March set a goal for economic growth of 7.5 percent this year, down from actual growth of 9.2 percent last year and 10.4 percent in 2010.

Wen said China had moved to promote growth through its monetary policy by cutting interest rates twice and lowering the amount of funds that banks must place in reserve, Xinhua reported.

China has also moved to ramp up bank lending and encourage more government investment, though it has stopped short of the massive stimulus package launched in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008.

The International Monetary Fund last month forecast that China's economy would rebound in the second half of 2012 to expand 8.0 percent annually as government policies to spur growth take effect.

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