China economic growth to exceed 7.5 percent in 2012: NDRC


China's economy has halted its slowing trend, the head of the country's powerful economic planning agency said on Saturday, adding that he was confident GDP growth would exceed 7.5 percent in 2012.

Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), was speaking to a news conference on the sidelines of the Communist Party congress which is meeting to chose a new leadership.

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China's economy strode further along the road of recovery from its slowest growth in three years, data for October showed on Friday, as infrastructure investment accelerated and output from the country's factories ran at its fastest in five months.

Annual economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the third quarter - its weakest since early 2009 - leaving the world's second-largest economic on track to mark its most sluggish year since 1999.

But central bank head Zhou Xiaochuan cautioned on Thursday that external risks still loomed large and the People's Bank of China has policy room to respond if necessary.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Nick Edwards)