Vice-premier: Economy to grow 9% this year
China's economy is expected to grow around 9 percent this year ¡ª slower than recent torrid growth ¡ª as the government works to restrain blind investment, Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said.
Zeng, speaking at a symposium in the southeastern city of Xiamen on Wednesday, said Beijing's efforts to promote stable growth have succeeded, but more needs to be done to ensure energy supplies and boost consumer spending, published reports said.
"We must make saving energy a top priority so as to guarantee domestic energy supply," he reportedly said.
China suffers acute energy bottlenecks that force many factories to work around scheduled power cuts during the peak summer months.
The energy shortage has been relieved slightly, Zeng said, even as he called for more oil and gas exploration and a faster shift into nuclear power.
Zeng said domestic consumption needs to increase so that overall economic growth isn't so heavily dependent on investment. He said the government would improve consumer policies related to property, autos and telecommunications.
Consumer prices are stable, employment is growing and foreign trade is rapidly increasing, he added.
He credited the government's "determination" in curbing poorly planned investment in inefficient industries.
The World Bank also predicts China's economic growth will slow to 9 percent for the full year, from the roaring 9.5 percent growth in the first half of this year.