China’s 2014 growth in focus as leaders met on reform plans

A worker operates a machine to cut a pipeline at a factory in QingdaoBy Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) – China's leaders began mapping out their economic and reform plans for 2014 behind closed doors on Tuesday, and would have drawn confidence from data showing the economy has sustained momentum from a mid-year pick-up into the final quarter. Even as the government's 7.5 percent growth target for this year looks increasingly secure, some advisors think it may not issue a specific target for 2014 in order to have more room to pursue reforms intended to lead to more sustainable growth. Top government think tanks, which make policy proposals, were still debating whether the growth target should be cut to 7 percent in 2014 from this year's 7.5 percent as the leadership convened in Beijing for the Central Economic Work Conference. Zhao Xijun, deputy head of the Finance and Securities Institute at Renmin University in Beijing, said he had proposed to the government that it set a range of 7-7.5 percent, but saw an outside chance that Beijing simply scrapped the target.

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