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Economy grows 9.4% in 1st nine months
Updated: 2005-10-11 14:04

China's economy grew a blistering 9.4 percent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period a year ago, and is forecast to expand 9.2 percent for the entire year, the country's top planning agency said.

However, growth is expected to slow to about 8.5 percent next year, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a report published in the China Securities Journal on Tuesday.

China will release official third quarter gross domestic product figures later this month.

Spending on big construction projects remains a key driver of growth; strong increases in exports are another, the report said.

It noted that growth in exports was likely to top 30 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of the year, with growth for the year predicted at about 25 percent. Imports will rise by a more modest 18 percent, leaving a record total trade surplus for the year of US$79 billion, the report forecast.

The report by China's main planning agency is largely in line with forecasts by international groups such as the World Bank, which recently issued an estimate for 9 percent growth for 2005.

China's economy grew 9.5 percent in the first half of this year and expanded by more than 9 percent in 2003 and 2004.

The commission said the government would continue to adjust levels of investment in property development and other construction to help keep growth at a reasonable level, while encouraging growth in domestic consumption, such as retail spending.

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