China: Chinese government projects economic growth of 10.8 pct for 2008

3 January 2008

Beijing, China, 3 Jan – China’s Center for State Information said Wednesday that projections for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and inflation in 2008 were 10.8 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

According to the Center, these figures are lower than for 2007 due to measures implemented by Beijing to cool the Chinese economy, whose growth is expected to have totaled 11.4 percent last year.

If this figure is confirmed on publication of the final figures for the years, it will be the fifth consecutive year if greater than 10 percent growth in China.

Last year, inflation was one of the economic problems of most concern to the Chinese government and is expected to have totaled 4.7 percent, which is far higher than the 3 percent initially forecast.

Inflation reached the highest level for 10 years in November 2007 when the consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.9 percent.

According to the national statistics office, the 18.2 percent rise in the price of foodstuffs, particularly cereals and pork, was the main reason for this rise in inflation.

The Center for State Information, which is dependent upon the government’s main economic planning body (the National Commission for Reform and Development), expects China’s high trade surplus to fall this year, as a consequence of the protectionist measures implemented by Western countries and the speedy rise in value of China’s currency.

Beijing has put in place a number of measures to slow its exports, such as cancelling import tax paybacks on some of its products.

In 2007 China’s trade surplus rose an estimated 51 percent and this year is expected to rise 22.5 percent to US$328.4 billion. (macauhub)