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China to achieve 7.2 pct GDP growth in 2015: ADB report

2015-03-25 10:16 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

China's economy will grow 7.2 percent in 2015 and 7.0 percent in 2016, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicted in a report published Tuesday.

China is likely to retain its position as the biggest contributor to global economic growth in both 2015 and 2016, the Manila-based bank said in the Asian Development Outlook 2015, its flagship annual economic publication.

The official growth target was set at around 7 percent by the Chinese government earlier this month at the annual session of the National People's Congress.

China's GDP growth clocked in at 7.4 percent in 2014, its weakest expansion since 1990. This year, the government is aiming for slower but quality growth.

"In spite of [...] shrinking working-age population and rising labor costs, China's economy can continue to deliver solid growth as long as the government makes steady progress on its reform agenda, which can elevate productivity," said ADB chief economist Shang-Jin Wei.

"Deepening financial sector reforms, such as reducing the dominance of state-owned banks and liberalizing interest rates while preserving financial stability, is a key element of the needed reform package," he added.

The ADB report said the main downside risk for China from the world economy stems from a higher-than-expected rebound in commodity prices, while the domestic risk was an increasingly rigid labor market, which is not favorable for industrial restructuring due to increased wage levels and real exchange rate appreciation.

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