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China plans slower growth in domestic consumption

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BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese policymakers have scaled down the country's growth target for domestic consumer goods for the next five years ending in 2015, according to a development plan for domestic trade released Monday.

China aims to expand its retail sales of consumer goods to around 32 trillion yuan (5.05 trillion U.S. dollars) by 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 15 percent, according to the 12th Five-year (2011-2015) Development Plan for Domestic Trade released by the State Council, China's Cabinet, on its website.

The targeted growth in retail sales for the 2011-2015 period is 1.1 percentage points slower than that seen in the past decade when an average growth rate of 16.1 percent drove the country's retail sales of consumer goods to 18.4 trillion yuan in 2011.

It is hoped that the domestic trade sector will provide jobs to 130 million people by 2015, with 5 million new job opportunities added every year, according to the plan.

In the development plan, the State Council pledged to increase fiscal and monetary support to boost domestic consumption.

The Chinese government is endeavoring to boost domestic consumption to balance its economy, as the current export-driven model is facing increasing pressure from sluggish external demand amid the global economic downturn.

China's exports in the January-August period this year rose 7.1 percent year on year to 1.31 trillion U.S. dollars, easing further from 7.8 percent in the first seven months, customs data show.

Meanwhile, nominal retail sales rose 14.1 percent from the previous year to reach 1.31 trillion yuan from January to August this year, 0.1 percentage point lower than the growth rate in the January-July period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics

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