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China’s GDP to grow 7.1 pct in 2015: think tank

China’s economic growth will slow to 7.1 percent this year, as the market demand remains sluggish while the Central Government pushes forward with reforms, said a state-run think tank.

The State Information Centre, which is under the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, made the forecast in a report published this week.

“The demand in both domestic and overseas markets remains weak,” the report said, adding that provincial governments in the country “face significant financial pressures”.

“Neither the provincial governments nor private investors have the ability to propel the economic growth,” said the centre. “The Central Government, the only one which can exert a notable impact over the growth, is more tolerant to a slower [growth] rate and firm on pushing forward reforms.”

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by the slowest pace in 24 years at 7.4 percent last year. It is widely anticipated that the Central Government will lower the official target of GDP this year to about 7 percent from last year’s 7.5 percent.