Key China think-tank sees 8% GDP growth in Q1

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China's gross domestic product will grow at annualised rate of about 8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 while the consumer price index will rise around a yearly 2.6 per cent, the China Securities News said, quoting the State Information Centre (SIC), a leading government think-tank.

Fixed asset investment will grow 21 per cent during the quarter, a similar rate as the same period last year, it said.

After seven straight quarters of slowdown, growth picked up in the fourth quarter last year but 2012 still marked the slowest year of growth for China since 1999.

China's economic growth is likely to rebound to 8.1 per cent in 2013 from 7.8 per cent last year, a Reuters poll showed in late January.

January's consumer inflation fell to 2.0 per cent from December's seven-month high of 2.5 per cent, suggesting price pressures are subdued for now.

Economists expect inflation to pick up steam through the first quarter, though likely staying below 3.5 per cent in 2013, a level they think the government will soon announce as its target.