Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the government wants to slow average GDP growth over the next five years to 7% annually, down from a target of 7.5% in the past half decade, the Wall Street Journal reported. The country needs to put on the brakes to avoid inflation and to restructure the economy, Wen said. While official targets routinely underestimate growth, China’s announcement highlights how economic priorities are shifting to reduce dependence on exports and capital-intensive industries in favor of boosting domestic demand. Wen’s comments come in the run-up to the formal release of China’s next five-year economic plan at the annual meeting of its National People’s Congress that starts on March 5.
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