China to ‘slow’ economic growth

China will aim for slower growth of 8 percent, keep a tight grip on economic controls and push ahead with reforms to its fixed currency in 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao said in a report seen by Reuters on Friday.

The government would maintain ‘stable and healthy’ monetary and fiscal policies, Wen said in excerpts of an annual report to be delivered to parliament on Saturday.

Wen said consumer price inflation would be about 4 percent, similar to last year’s rate of 3.9 percent.

The 8 percent economic growth forecast contrasts with the usual 7 percent forecast issued in previous years and which is routinely exceeded. China’s gross domestic product was 9.5 percent higher in 2004 than in the year before.

Wen also pledged to reform the yuan’s fixed exchange rate, a goal long sought by countries such as the United States

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