China's government is targeting 8 percent growth next year as the global economy recovers, the country's industry minister said Monday.
"Based on the economic growth target of about 8 percent, set by the central government, we aim for industrial output growth at about 11 percent," said Li Yizhong in a webcast on his ministry's site.
Li's comment was the first indication of Beijing's 2010 growth target, a figure that usually is released after the start of the year. The annual target has been set at 8 percent for several years, though growth has exceeded that.
Forecasts by private sector economists for China's economic growth next year range from 9 to 11.9 percent, well above the government target.
China's economy expanded 7.7 percent for the first nine months this year, helped by the government's 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package.
A government report this month said full-year growth is forecast at 8.3 percent. The World Bank is forecasting 8.4 percent.
Li said the world's economic recovery is still fragile and Chinese exports this year should be 17 percent below 2008 levels.
China's leaders vowed at an annual planning meeting this month to keep economic stimulus and easy credit policies in place.
China's industrial production in the first 11 months of this year rose 10.3 percent from the same period last year. Growth in November alone was 19.2 percent over a year earlier.
Associated Press researcher Bonnie Cao contributed to this report.
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Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (in Chinese): http://www.miit.gov.cn