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China GDP growth seen 7.7-7.8 pct in '12 - govt researcher
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's annual economic growth will reach between 7.7 percent and 7.8 percent this year and begin to stabilise in the second half as pro-growth policies gain traction, a government researcher said in remarks published on Saturday.
Fan Jianping, chief economist at the State Information Centre, a prominent government think tank, said China's economy would grow 7.6-7.8 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier, staying flat or picking up from the second quarter's 7.6 percent.
Analysts forecast in a Reuters poll that China would slow further in the third quarter but regain some momentum late in the year as the impact of earlier policy easing fully kicks in.
Still, even if activity rebounds modestly in the fourth quarter, it would drag full-year economic growth to below 8 percent, a level not seen since 1999.
The pace of growth this year would be above the government's target of 7.5 percent, but policymakers are facing a dilemma due to concerns about property inflation, Fan was quoted by the official Xinhua new agency as saying.
"It will be a little difficult to strike a balance this time around," Fan said.
China has not unveiled any large-scale new government stimulus this year, despite mounting evidence the economy needs more prodding to regain momentum, as policymakers fret that a surge in prices could stoke social unrest at a politically sensitive time ahead of a tricky leadership transition.
In the absence of any stimulus package, Beijing has fast-tracked some infrastructure projects and injected cash into the economy via central bank's open market operations.
China's economy growth would stay at relatively low levels for a while, with a V-type recovery unlikely as policymakers have to make some progress in restructuring the economy, Fan added.
China's economy expanded at its slowest pace in more than three years in the second quarter, growing 7.6 percent on year as demand at home and abroad slackened. (Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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