China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has said he’s expecting the economy to expand by just 7 percent in 2013. Though he says that rate is acceptable for China, it has the potential to upset hopes for a global recovery.
China's expected rate of growth in its gross domestic product (GDP) was 7 percent, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei told reporters on the sidelines of talks with US officials in Washington on Thursday.
Already in 2012, China's rate of economic expansion slumped to 7.8 percent - its slowest in 13 years and coming on the heels of mostly double-digit GDP growth in the past decade. The cooling of the world's second largest economy accelerated in the first quarter of 2013 as GDP grew by only 7.7 percent.
"Of course, it won't be a big problem for us if we achieve growth of 7 percent or 6.5 percent," Lou told reporters, adding that the rate was below the government's target of 7.5 percent for this year.
China's ruling Communist Party is seeking to put the country's economic development on a more sustainable footing, replacing its reliance on exports and investments for growth with stronger domestic demand and consumption.
Slumping trade and manufacturing figures from China have unsettled financial markets in recent weeks, as fears for a global economic recovery are mounting. Emerging economies, notably China, have become the world's engine of growth as Europe is still locked in a recession and the United States is just recovering from the 2008 financial crisis.
uhe/mkg (Reuters, dpa, AFP)