China sets 2012 growth target at 7.5%

Updated: 2012-03-05 10:08


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BEIJING - China aims to grow its economy by 7.5 percent in 2012 by following proactive fiscal and prudent monetary policies to combat downward pressure on growth and still high inflation, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday.

The growth target, revealed at the start of China's annual parliamentary meeting, was in line with analyst expectations and lower than the longstanding annual goal of 8 percent.

"We aim to promote steady and robust economic development, keep prices stable, and guard against financial risks by keeping the total money and credit supply at an appropriate level, and taking a cautious and flexible approach," Wen said in his annual work report to the National People's Congress (NPC).

Wen set a target for inflation at about 4 percent for the year, in line with the target set in 2011, saying that the government would work to prevent a rebound in prices in 2012. Inflation remained stubbornly above official targets in every month of last year.

Wen also pledged to curb speculative demand in the property market, and said the yuan would be kept "basically stable" with strengthened two-way flexibility.

He highlighted that the government would take action to solve the local government debt problem, regarded by many investors as the key risk to fiscal sustainability with about 10.7 trillion yuan ($1.7 trillion) owed by local governments, according to government figures at the end of 2010.

"We will strengthen supervision of local government debt and guard against risks. We will further investigate and regulate financing companies run by local governments," Wen said.