China to keep policy and growth steady in 2014, push reform

Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:30am EST
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By Aileen Wang and Kevin Yao

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's leaders pledged to maintain stable economic policies to achieve reasonable economic growth in 2014 while forging ahead with reforms, as they wrapped up a closed-door meeting on Friday, state radio reported.

Top leaders have unveiled a bold reform agenda for the next decade as they try to steer the world's second-largest economy towards more sustainable growth after three decades of breakneck expansion.

China will stick with a prudent monetary policy and pro-active fiscal policy next year, the report said, citing a statement issued after the annual Central Economic Work Conference, which brings together top party leaders, government ministers and provincial officials.

"We will maintain stability and continuity in macro-economic policies. We will maintain appropriate growth in gross domestic product," it said.

No target for 2014 GDP growth was announced. Annual targets on economic growth, inflation, investment and money supply will be unveiled in parliament in March.

Top government think tanks, which make policy proposals, have been divided over whether the growth target should be cut to 7 percent in 2014 from this year's 7.5 percent.

Last month, Premier Li Keqiang said economic growth of 7.2 percent was needed to keep a lid on unemployment, and on Monday the official China Securities Journal said the government was likely to stick with this year's 7.5 percent target for 2014.

"No matter what target may be next year, there will be no major policy adjustments as stability will be the core objective for the government," said Li Huiyong, chief economist at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities in Shanghai.   Continued...

China's President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with former U.S. President Bill Clinton (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee