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China's economy to rebound in second half: IMF

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AFP - China's economy will rebound in the second half of 2012 to achieve annual growth of eight percent as government policies to spur growth take effect, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday.

"Growth is expected to bottom out in the second quarter, and then accelerate in the second half of the year," the IMF said in an annual report on China's economy, predicting China's economy would expand by 8.5 percent in 2013.

The Fund noted that Chinese authorities, whose views are included in the report, said they had been pursuing policies to achieve a more sustainable pace of economic growth.

"This managed slowdown, however, has run into stronger-than-anticipated headwinds from the worsening of the euro area crisis," the IMF said.

"Measures to support growth are now being given more prominence and the authorities are confident that growth will be at least 7.5 percent this year."

China's slowing economy has prompted authorities to slash interest rates and loosen requirements for the amount of reserves banks must maintain as ways to spur lending and boost activity.

Growth in the world's second-largest economy slowed to a more than three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter, marking the sixth straight three-month period in which it had weakened.

The Washington-based IMF said the projection, reached in consultation with Chinese authorities, was based on the premise that China maintains policies aimed at such a result.

It cited the ongoing eurozone sovereign debt crisis as the biggest external risk facing China's economy.

"The authorities were concerned about the external outlook, especially the risk of a worsening of the euro area crisis and the lack, so far, of a sufficiently strong policy response within Europe," the IMF said.

Chinese leaders have repeatedly expressed concern over the weakening economy and vowed to take further measures.

Premier Wen Jiabao has called stabilising growth the government's top priority.

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