Analysts forecast China's official GDP target at 7%


CHINA'S official growth target for 2013, to be announced in March, is projected at 7 percent as new leaders showed increasing tolerance of slower growth, analysts at Citigroup said in Shanghai today.

China's economy rebounded in the fourth quarter last year from its longest slump since the global financial crisis. Thanks to the central government's infrastructure spending near the year-end, gross domestic product expanded 7.8 percent last year, beating the official target of 7.5 percent.

"We expected the economy to grow at a rate above the estimated official target between 7.5 percent to 8 percent this year," Oliver Chiu, head of research and investment advisory of retail banking at Citibank China, said.

The official target for 2013 is expected to be announced at the annual session of the National People's Congress in March.

"A lower target indicates new leaders' increasing tolerance of a slower pace of economic expansion as the government seeks a higher quality and efficiency of GDP growth this year," Chiu said.

The annual target of M2, the broadest measure of money supply, is expected to drop from last year's 14 percent to 13 percent this year. While new yuan loans will reach 9 trillion yuan (US$1.4 trillion), he said.