China 2006 GDP Growth Seen At 8.9%

China's red-hot economy will slow this year with growth of 8.9%, the nation's central bank said March 27, down from the 9.9% expansion of 2005.

China's growth rate is forecast to slow throughout the year, with gross domestic product (GDP) to rise 9.2% in the first quarter and 9.% in the second quarter, the central bank report said. Growth will slow further to 8.9% in the three months to September before falling to 8.7% in the final three months of the year.

"In the future the country's GDP growth rate will show a gradually emerging slowdown, but will still maintain its relatively high level," it said.

The report, published by the central bank research bureau in the official China Securities Journal, also predicted that inflation would increase to about 2% this year, in line with most analysts' forecasts.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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