State planners at China's annual central economic work conference have set an economic growth target of around 8% for 2007, Reuters reported, citing a leading government economist. Zheng Xinli, who works in the Communist Party's policy research office, added that this target – which represents a significant drop on the 10.7% growth seen in the first nine months of 2006 – does not necessarily mean an economic slowdown. "The central government set the target of around 8% because it cannot set a very high target," he said. "If the target were 10, then the actual growth could be 12%." Zheng said he expected growth of 10% in 2007 and a full-year figure for 2006 of 10.5%. At the meeting, planners were said to have endorsed a stable monetary and fiscal policy and urged local governments to focus investment on the services sector.
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