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Bullish on growth goal

RECENT economic data suggest China will meet its 8-percent growth target this year but the central government will take additional measures if the economy starts losing momentum again, an official at the top economic planning body said yesterday.

"According to the economic indicators for the first four months of this year, we are definitely able to achieve the goal of 8-percent growth," Xu Lin, director general of the department of fiscal and financial affairs at the National Development and Reform Commission, told a news conference in Hong Kong.

However, he said the economy needed to maintain its current recovery momentum.

"We'd like to see a V-shaped recovery. If the economic recovery loses momentum, we will have to take additional measures," he said.

The government has enough fiscal resources to implement more measures and has not yet allocated all of its 4-trillion-yuan (US$586 billion) two-year fiscal stimulus package announced last November, Xu said, adding that it could act within the next few months if the economy were to change tack.

New measures could include additional spending on government projects or help for private companies, he said.

A rebound in electricity use since November and strong car and retail sales were positive signs that fiscal stimulus and looser monetary policy were having an effect, but other economic signs were less convincing, he said.


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