China’s economic growth in 2012 may drop below 9 percent for the first time in a decade, a senior Chinese foreign exchange official said on Tuesday, underlining the gloom in Beijing over the deteriorating health of the global economy.
Still, Huang Guobo, the chief economist at China’s currency regulator, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, told a forum that policy would remain focused on controlling inflation in coming months.
That echoed comments last week by Premier Wen Jiabao, who said inflation is unacceptably high.
“The Chinese economy is facing serious challenges despite strong growth,” Huang said. “The weakening global demand for Chinese exports will be a challenge…Next year, if the situation continues, China’s growth rate may fall below 9 percent.”
Huang is not the first of China’s many government economists to forecast slower growth. But his statement could signal a strengthening view in the government that growth in the world’s second-biggest economy is moderating.
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