Mon, Aug 15, 2005 - Page 10 News List

China expects economic growth between 7% to 9%

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China's economy will grow steadily in the second half of this year, with full-year expansion at between 7 and 9 percent, Xinhua News Agency said, citing Xie Fuzhan (謝伏瞻), deputy director at the State Council's Development Research Center.

Problems such as falling industrial profit and low consumer prices will have little negative effects on economic growth this year, the report said. It did not specify what second-half growth would be in percentage terms.

Grain prices may halt their declines in the second half and the government will adjust prices of utilities and services according to market changes, the report said, citing Zhu Baoliang, chief economist at the State Information Center.

Rising international oil prices may also raise consumer prices in China, he was cited as saying. The mainland economy grew 9.5 percent last year and by the same amount in the first six months of this year.

However, China's long-term economic development may be stymied because of wastage of resources such as water, oil and electricity, Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan (曾培炎) said.

"Economic development will be restricted if we don't restrain the waste of resources," Zeng told China Central Television yesterday. "We're at a stage of economic development where we don't have the luxury to be wasteful."

China will adopt economic measures to curb wastage and accelerate the development of new technology to increase the efficient use of existing resources, Zeng said, without providing specific details.

Demand for fuel to run power plants, cars and machinery has risen as the economy has expanded, making China the world's biggest oil consumer behind the US. Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) tightened controls on investment by state-owned companies last year to alleviate power shortages and unclog transport links.

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