Business / Economy

China may lower 2013 economic growth target

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-06 09:35

BEIJING -- China is likely to set a lower economic growth target for 2013 to achieve a smooth change in its growth pattern and minimize future risks amid uncertainties in global economy, according to a newspaper column by a senior economist published on Wednesday.

The Chinese government will make self-motivated efforts to slow down the rapidly expanding economy in the coming year, wrote Yi Xianrong, a finance researcher with government think tank the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in Shanghai Securities News.

This will create necessary conditions to upgrade the current growth pattern that relies heavily on real estate and exports, in Yi's view.

He based his argument on the fact that, after years of shining performance, those two sectors are losing luster.

While bubbles in the housing market are posing a threat to the world's second-largest economy, once-fast-increasing exports have showed signs of slowing, dragged down by sluggish overseas demand, Yi wrote.

In the third quarter of 2012, China's economy grew by 7.4 percent year-on-year, bringing the figure for the first three quarters to 7.7 percent, which is 0.2 percentage points higher than the growth target for the full year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

However, the pace of growth had slowed successively from 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012, to 7.6 percent in the second, then down slightly again in the third.

Despite the slowing pace, the country still attached greater significance to improving the quality of economic development by pursuing a healthier growth pattern, rather than blindly introducing stimulus in an effort to maintain alluring figures.

"The economy should maintain sustained and sound development. Major progress should be made in changing the growth model," according to a report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November.

The determination was echoed by a statement issued after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Tuesday, which noted that Chinese authorities will put "enhancing quality and efficiency of economic growth front and center" next year.

One way of reaching that goal is to push forward urbanization, which will replace the property sector and provide major impetus for a "de-property-ized" economy, according to Yi. This will be a major fine-tuning made by the country's new policy makers.

Accordingly, China will not see stunning expansion in its gross domestic product but will see a much-improved economic growth model in the next year, he added.

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