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     BEIJING (MNI) - China should set next year's GDP growth target at between
5.5% and 6% and refrain from ensuring a minimum 6% hard target, according to Liu
Yuanchun, an advisor to the State Council and a vice president of Renmin
University. 
     Instead, policymakers should maintain a strategy of transforming the
economy through high-quality growth, Liu told the China Macroeconomy Forum on
Saturday.
     China can now reach its goal of becoming a "moderately prosperous society
by 2020" with just 5% growth next year, Liu said. Last week, the official 2018
gross domestic output was revised up by the bureau of statistics to CNY91.9
trillion, 2.1% more than the preliminary figure.
     Growth of 5.5% can prevent large-scale unemployment while 6% expansion
leads to 13 million new urban jobs, Liu said 
     Any slowdown in China's economy may be moderated by further reform,
countercyclical policies and a more rational approach towards China-U.S. trade
frictions, Liu said.
     Other points made by Liu and in the report:
     --CPI is forecast to be 2.3% in 2020. Pork prices may decline year-on-year
in the first half of 2020 while supply recovers in the second half. 
     --Investment and consumption may bottom out in 2020, though a significant
rebound isn't likely. Fixed-asset investment may grow 5.5% y/y, while retail
sales may come in at 8.0%.
     --M2 growth may be faster than nominal GDP growth in 2020, reaching 8.5-9%
y/y. Aggregate financing growth should stay at around 11% to meet the
requirement of tightening financial regulation.
     --The target deficit-to-GDP ratio can breach 3% in 2020 to allow more tax
and fee cuts. The cuts should shift to benefiting consumers from the producer
side.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: wanxia.lin@marketnews.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email: william.bi@mni-news.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
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MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com