China Growth Tops 7% in First Nine Months

China sees meeting goal of 8% full-year growth

China's economy grew between 7% and 8% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2009, a senior official with the country's top economic planning agency said Oct. 19.

Beijing's four-trillion-yuan (US$586 billion) stimulus package, unveiled in November last year, "has played a very good role in the recovery of the Chinese economy," said Xiong Bilin, a vice director general of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The economic growth for the first three quarters means "there should be no problem" in achieving the government's full-year goal of 8%, Xiong said.

China, the world's third-largest economy, is due to announce official third-quarter gross domestic product data on or about October 22.

The Chinese economy expanded 7.1% in the first half from a year earlier, after growing 6.1% in the first quarter and 7.9% in the second.

Beijing sees 8% growth as essential for job creation and keeping a lid on social unrest.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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