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City confident of economic target

SHANGHAI is confident it will achieve this year's economic growth target of 9 percent, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday.

Several economic indicators, including those for consumption, the services industry, investment and employment, are showing recovery signs with month-by-month improvement in the first four months, Han told Lawrence Cannon, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday in Shanghai.

About 18,000 new jobs were created during the first four months, he said.

"The economic performance was better than we expected," Han said. "We are confident we will achieve the target set at the beginning of this year."

The city aimed at achieving an economic growth of about 9 percent and at confining unemployment to within 4.5 percent this year. Residents' incomes are expected to post an annual growth of more than 10 percent.

Shanghai's consumer price index, the main inflation gauge, is expected to move in line with the national level.

On Monday, Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng said he expected Shanghai's industrial output to return to growth in June after flattening in May.

Shanghai's economic growth tailed off to 3.1 percent in the first quarter of this year after posting a 9.7 percent growth last year, the first single-digit growth in 17 years due to the deepening impact of the financial crisis on the city's foreign trade and industry sector.

Shanghai's economic growth was lower than China's 6.1 percent economic expansion in the first three months. The city's economy grew 11.53 percent in the first quarter of 2008.


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