China's economy to grow 7.4% this year, slightly below official target of 7.5%: govt economist

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy is likely to grow by 7.4 per cent this year, slightly below the government's target of 7.5 per cent, and expand 7 per cent in 2015, a senior government economist said on Friday.

China can still maintain annual average growth of 7 per cent in the next 10 years, Yu Bin, director of macro-economic research department of the Development Research Centre (DRC), the cabinet's think tank, told a news conference.

Data this week showed China's annual economic growth slowed to 7.3 per cent in the third quarter - the weakest pace since the depths of the global financial crisis, and down from 7.5 per cent in the previous quarter.

The economy grew 7.4 per cent in the first nine months.

China's exports are likely to grow around 6 per cent this year from 2013, Yu said. He also predicted that China's combined exports and imports could grow 5-10 per cent in the coming years.