BEIJING, Jan. 11 -- China's economic growth may have outstripped the government target to hit 7.7 percent in 2012, an official from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Friday.
In view of current situations, an upcoming release of key data for 2012 may show the economy's gross domestic product (GDP) growth reached 7.7 percent last year, above the 7.5-percent government full-year growth target, NDRC deputy minister Zhang Xiaoqiang said at a forum.
Recent economic data has shown improving signs in factory production, investment and trade. The National Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release fourth-quarter and full-year GDP figures on Jan. 18.
The economy faced great downward pressure last year, but the government has increased and improved its macro-control, the deputy minister said.
China's GDP growth slowed to a seven-quarter low of 7.4 percent in the third quarter. To shore up growth, the government has introduced fiscal measures, but remained cautious in easing its monetary policy in fear of re-triggering inflation.
The economy will expand by around 7.5 percent this year, with urban and rural residential incomes growing at the same pace or slightly quicker, while the inflation rate will be around 3.5 percent, according to Zhang.
China's external market and investment environment will remain depressed in 2013, as the global downturn will continue, Zhang said. He projected global growth at around 3 percent in 2013.
To deepen the country's economic reform and transform its export-driven growth mode, the government will have to push reforms in multiple areas such as income distribution, taxation and finance, Zhang told the forum.
Aware of economic woes both at home and abroad, the government pared its GDP growth target for 2012 from 8 percent in March last year, the first time the target has been lowered to under 8 percent in eight years.