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Economic growth to ease to 9.4%: economist

Source:   Time:

China's economy growth will ease to 9.4 percent this year before further slowing to 8.7 percent in 2012, Fan Jianping, a government economist said Saturday.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI), a major inflation gauge, will hit 5.5 percent for the full year of 2011, and will dip to 4 percent next year, Fan, director of economic forecasting at the State Information Center, said in a forum on China's economy held by Tsinghua University.

Exports will inject less momentum into the country's economy in 2012, as the recent data showed that China's trade surplus has been narrowing, Fan said.

Exports, investment and consumption are three major engines that power China's economic growth.

China's trade surplus shrank for a second consecutive month in September to $14.5 billion, lower than August's 17.8 billion and less than half of the 31.5 billion in July, according to the Customs data.

In order to sustain a long-term economic growth, China needs to rely on increased domestic consumption, which the country has not done enough so far, the economist said.

Fan warned the government should not launch a massive stimulus package again as they did in 2008 to combat the spillover of the current debt crisis in Europe and the United States.

"[If reintroduced,] the stimulus package may trigger rapid increases in inflation, making the country's mission to cool off surging prices impossible," Fan said.

China's inflation rate slipped to 6.1 percent in September, retreating further from a three-year high of 6.5 percent in July, but still well above the full-year 4 percent target set by the government.

The country's economy expanded by 9.6 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2011. In the second quarter, China's economic growth slowed to 9.5 percent, compared with 9.7 percent in the first quarter.

The National Statistics Bureau will release the new GDP data for the third quarter on Tuesday.

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