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CNB Expected To Hike By Another 25bps Today

     BEIJING (MNI) - China will boost consumption and diversify export markets
to help support domestic growth, officials at the Ministry of Commerce told
reporters Tuesday.
     Here are the highlights:
     -- China consumption may further slow this year as trade disputes and
global risks persist, while pressures on the consumer increase. However, the
sector remains a key driver for future growth and MOFCOM said a series of new
policies would help underpin demand.
     -- The 1.2-percentage-point drop in retail sales growth last year was
temporary, with the decline largely due to cooling vehicle and property-related
sales, MOFCOM said.
     -- January's trade data, scheduled for release Thursday, will show
continued growth, MOFCOM said. A recovering global economy and domestic policy
initiatives (further opening up of the economy, stabilizing trade, industrial
upgrade) will help support trade this year.
     -- China will optimize its international markets, innovate trade of
processed goods, expand exports and enhance imports to support trade growth, the
MOFCOM spokesperson said. 
     - When asked on certain Chinese overseas investments currently under closer
scrutiny by host nations, MOFCOM noted increased security concerns, and urged
these countries to adopt an "open and inclusive attitude" and create a fair and
transparent business environment for investors.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email:
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email:
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:
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