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January 12, 2008

Growth to slip in 2008

China's economic growth is estimated to be 10.5 percent in 2008, slightly lower than in 2007,a report released by Bank of China said on Thursday.

Inflation pressures would still exist in 2008, but would gradually flatten over the year, said the report.

The annual consumer price index would stay somewhere between 4.5 percent, down from the figure in 2007, which is estimated at 4.7 percent.

Imports and exports would continue to grow rapidly, but the fast pace in exports would slow. With a stable rise in imports, the growth in trade surplus would gradually narrow.

The Chinese yuan was expected to appreciate faster against the U.S. dollar in the first half of the year compared with the latter half, the report said.

It warned the appreciation would have more negative impacts on the profits of export-oriented companies, and suggested the government should be careful with exchange rate policies to avoid a cooling effect on the domestic economy of a possible decline in exports.

The growth of bank loans would be controlled by the newly adopted tightening monetary policy, and absorbing excess liquidity would still top the government agenda with regards to monetary policy.

Courtesy Xinhua

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