State think tank forecasts '03 GDP growth at 8.3%
( 2003-09-25 14:48) (Dow Jones)
China's economy is expected to grow at a brisk pace this year despite the outbreak of SARS and the war in Iraq, according to the forecast of the State Information Center.
The State Information Center, a think tank under the National Development and Reform Commission, said in a report Thursday that it expects gross domestic product to grow around 8.3% this year.
GDP expanded by 8% in 2002. China's economy has "successfully overcome the outbreak of SARS and the war in Iraq" and has maintained its fast-paced growth, the State Information Center said in the report, which was published in the China Securities Journal.
In the report, there were three growth scenarios for next year and three GDP growth rates - 8%, 8.5%, and 9% - and the think tank concluded that a "suitable" growth rate for 2004 would be around 8.5%.
Also, the center expects fixed asset investment to grow 20% this year and M2 growth to come in at 19.5% at the year-end.
The center forecast retail sales to rise 8.6% this year, compared with an
8.8% rise last year. It attributed the slight slowing in growth to the SARS
The rise in imports, which consist largely of raw material and machinery,
would mean a sharp decrease in the trade surplus this year to an estimated
US$11.8 billion from US$30.35 billion last year, the center said.
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