Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), speaks at a press conference held by the press center of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 10, 2012. Zhang gave an introduction on the country's economic and social development at the press conference. (Xinhua/Li Xin)
BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is confident of achieving the 7.5-percent economic growth target this year despite the current slowdown, head of China's top economic planner said Saturday.
"We have full confidence in that, as the economy is showing more signs of stabilizing," Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told a press conference on the sidelines of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which opened Thursday.
Zhang said his faith in the economy lies in an economic curve that is moving upward since August, particularly in October.
Zhang's remarks echoed a new wave of positive official comments which reassured domestic and overseas investors about the prospects of the world's second-largest economy, after its gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 7.4 percent year on year in the third quarter.
The Chinese government scaled down its GDP growth target to 7.5 percent for 2012 early this year. It was the first time in eight years China had ever planned an economic growth below 8 percent.
The economic slowdown in July-September this year also marked a downturn for seven straight quarters and the slowest quarterly expansion in 14 quarters.
Zhang said the economic slowdown in the first nine months is due to a combination of factors such as the macroeconomic control by the government to restructure the economy and shrinking external demand amid lingering sovereign debt crisis in some developed countries.
He noted it's necessary for China to maintain an appropriate pace of economic growth, given its population of 1.3 billion people.
While keeping the macroeconomic policies stable, the government has launched preemptive fine-tuning of policies and adopted targeted measures such as boosting domestic consumption, raising residents' income and restructuring investment to secure steady economic growth, Zhang said.
A string of latest economic indicators showed those measures have helped stabilize the economy.
The industrial added-value output growth accelerated to 9.6 percent year on year in October, from 9.2 percent in September and 8.6 percent in August, while retail sales of consumer goods rose 14.5 percent from a year ago in October, compared with 14.1 percent in September and 13.2 percent in August, according to the NDRC.
Separately, customs data released Saturday showed China's exports in October posted the strongest monthly growth since May this year but imports remained weak.
Exports rose 11.6 percent from one year earlier in October, higher than the projected 9 percent and the 9.9-percent increase seen in September, according to the General Administration of Customs.
Imports climbed 2.4 percent year on year last month, unchanged from the growth in September.
Analysts believed external demand for Chinese goods remains slack, as indicated by results in the recently concluded Canton Fair, China's largest biannual trade fair, where total turnover dropped 9.3 percent compared with the fair's spring session.
"We can't be off guard and must work even harder," Zhang said, warning the foundation for a stabilized economic growth has yet to be consolidated.
"As new problems keep popping up in our economy, we need to prepare for difficulties and challenges for quite a long time to come," he said.
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