Li Confident China Will Achieve Year’s Economic Goals

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he’s confident that the nation will achieve the year’s economic goals, adding to signs that China will meet 7.5 percent growth target.

Recent data show employment and prices are stable and market expectations have “apparently” improved, Li said in a speech today at the China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, China, that was broadcast on state television. The economy has “maintained stable development” since the first half and “confidence is increasing,” Li said.

The comments build on data this week showing manufacturing strengthened last month, while trade and industrial production topped analysts’ estimates in July. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. researchers today boosted their 2013 growth estimate to 7.6 percent from 7.4 percent, joining Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in raising projections.

“We are able to and have conditions to meet China’s major economic and social development tasks this year,” Li said. “We are also determined to lay a sound foundation for next year, for the future and for long-term sustainable and healthy economic development.”

The Shanghai Composite Index of stocks rose 0.5 percent at the 11:30 a.m. local-time break.

The government signaled in July that it will defend its economic-growth target for the year after expansion slowed for a second quarter. China, the world’s second-largest economy, has announced what Bank of America Corp. called a “small stimulus” consisting of measures including tax breaks for small companies and accelerated railway construction.

Growth Streak

The economy expanded 7.5 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, extending the longest streak of sub-8 percent growth in at least two decades.

China is concerned about the challenges of capital outflows, currency depreciation and rising inflation that some Asian countries face amid expectations that developed nations will stop monetary-easing policies, Li said today.

The U.S. Federal Reserve this month will probably reduce its bond buying, according to 65 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs, in a report today, cited a pickup in industrial growth and other indicators over the past few months, along with “improving global demand and the tighter but still accommodative policy stance.” The investment bank left its 2014 growth forecast unchanged at 7.7 percent.

An official Purchasing Managers’ Index for manufacturing rose to a 16-month high in August, while a similar index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed the biggest gain in three years, according to data released earlier this week. A government PMI for service industries fell to 53.9 in August from 54.1 in July, a report showed today.

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