China targets factory output growth of around 9.5 percent in 2014

BEIJING Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:11am EST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China aims for around 9.5 pct annual growth in industrial output in 2014, the industry ministry said on Tuesday, supporting the view that Beijing may stick with its target for economic growth of 7.5 percent this year.

Mao Weiming, a vice-minister of Industry and Information Technology, sounded upbeat about the outlook for Chinese factories this year, citing firmer exports thanks to recovery in developed economies, and China's continued urbanization.

"We feel that there are many favorable conditions and positive factors in development. People generally believe this year's growth rate will be higher than last year," he told a news conference

China's industrial output rose an annual 9.7 percent in 2013, when the economy expanded 7.7 percent - just ahead of the official target of 7.5 percent.

Analysts at top think-tanks have said the government is likely will stick with a 7.5 percent target this year, indicating the leadership is still keen to keep the economy on an even keel as they push reforms.

Mao said the government will ban new projects in several industries - including steel, cement, aluminum, glass and shipping - before 2017, and will clean up existing projects found violating rules.

The government is expected to announce its 2014 growth target at the annual parliament meeting next month.

A ministry statement said that was targeting an 8 percent rise in revenues in telecommunications and 20 percent rise in revenue from software and information technology services.

China will take steps to resolve serious industrial overcapacity and encourage mergers and acquisitions to help eliminate outdated factories, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, China will continue to develop new strategic industries, support the development of e-commerce and experiment with "smart cities", the ministry said.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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