BEIJING, July 13 The official Xinhua News Agency
corrected on Saturday a dispatch that quoted the finance
minister as saying growth could be 7 percent this year, in an
apparent attempt to defuse market worries on a more severe
Xinhua's corrected story clarified that Minister Lou Jiwei,
speaking in Washington, said: "There is no doubt that China can
achieve this year's growth target of 7.5 percent".
That amounted to repeating the official target set in March
for the world's second largest economy when the new government
Xinhua's original report quoted Lou as saying: "There is no
doubt that China can achieve the growth target, though the
seven-percent goal should not be considered as the bottom line".
The corrected story was issued in English and dated on Thursday
The Finance Ministry's press office was not available for
Analysts had interpreted the original report as a signal
that the government may be willing to tolerate economic growth
in the second half of the year significantly below 7 percent.
Markets showed muted reaction to the reported remarks on
Friday. Some analysts suggested it was unlikely he was calling
into question the official growth target of 7.5 percent set four
months ago at the annual National People's Congress (NPC), or
China is due to report GDP for the latest April-June quarter
Economists polled by Reuters expect April-June GDP data to
show the economy grew 7.5 percent from a year earlier, down from
an annual pace of 7.7 percent in the first quarter. That marks a
far cry from the double-digit growth common in the past three
Chinese authorities, worried about over-investment and
strong growth in informal lending, have indicated they are
prepared to tolerate slower economic growth rates as they drive
through structural reforms.