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Govt think-tank sees 9% 2009 GDP growth
Updated: 2008-12-02 16:19

Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) is likely to grow 9 percent next year thanks to Beijing's huge stimulus package and an easier monetary policy, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the government's top think-tank, said on Tuesday.

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"At this moment, I still think China's GDP will rise 9 percent in 2009. The likelihood of this scenario is more than 70 percent," Wang Tongsan, a senior CASS researcher, said in a news release setting out its forecasts for next year.

But Wang attached two conditions to the scenario: that the US economy touches bottom soon and that China's pro-growth economic policies have a clear impact.

The central bank slashed borrowing costs by 1.08 percentage points last week, the deepest cut in 11 years, to complement a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus plan unveiled on November 9.

The CASS's forecasts for 2009 include:

-- consumer prices to rise 4 percent on average;

-- fixed-asset investment to rise 20 percent;

-- the trade surplus to come out at $236.9 billion;

-- retail sales to rise 16 percent;

-- broad M2 money supply to grow 16-17 percent;

-- the urban jobless rate to reach 4.3 percent.

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