Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

China targeting 8% growth in 2010

Chinese factory workers
Manufacturing accounts for about 40% of China's economy

China has announced it is targeting economic growth of 8% in 2010, despite the continuing effects of the global downturn.

Beijing has targeted 8% growth for the past few years, and has yet to fall short of the target.

Analysts said the country's economy was likely to beat the target, growing by 9% or more.

China, the world's third-largest economy, has been boosted by massive government stimulus measures.

The Chinese government also said industrial production would grow rapidly next year.

'Overshoot' likely

The economic momentum China has generated means it will be easier to achieve 8% in 2010 than it was this year
Alaistair Chan, Moody's

"Based on the central government's target for around 8% economic growth, we're aiming for around 11% growth in industrial output," said Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong.

Industrial output in November rose to its strongest position since June 2007, rising 19.2% from a year earlier. Another strong month in December would see output rise by 11% this year as well.

Analysts said the target for overall economic growth should be achievable.

"They'll probably overshoot 8% next year," said Alaistair Chan at Moody's

"The economic momentum China has generated means it will be easier to achieve 8% in 2010 than it was this year."

US 1.5%
Germany 0.3%
France 0.9%
Italy 0.2%
UK 0.9%
Japan 1.7%
Canada 2.1%
China 9%
India 6.4%
Source: International Monetary Fund

Mr Chan forecast growth of 9.3% next year.

This compares favourably with other major economies, most of which are forecast to experience modest growth next year.

Consumer spending

However, Mr Li cautioned against "blind optimism", saying that China's industry was over-reliant on exports, where economic recovery remained "fragile".

Earlier this month, the Chinese government said it would maintain its current fiscal and monetary stimulus measures, and look specifically to boost domestic demand in order to reduce its dependence on exports.

Recent retail sales figures show that consumers are spending more.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that sales were up 15.8% in November compared with the same time last year.

Consumer prices also rose year-on-year in November for the first time in 10 months.

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