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China expects 11 percent industrial output growth in 2012

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's industrial output is expected to grow 11 percent for 2012, easing from an estimated 13.9 percent in 2011, China's industry minister said on Monday.

The forecast by Miao Wei, the Minister of Industry and Information Technology, will also serve as the official target for China's industrial output, China's state radio reported on its website (www.cnr.cn).

Miao was quoted by the radio as saying that China's industrial development in 2012 "would not be optimistic" partly due to an uncertain global economy.

China's industrial sector has lost steam in recent months with annual industrial output growth falling to 12.4 percent in November from 13.2 percent in October and down from the year's high point of 15.1 percent in June.

The annual rise of China's industrial output, which covers enterprises with a minimum annual revenue of 20 million yuan ($3.16 million), is closely correlated with GDP growth in the world's second biggest economy.

An 11 percent annual expansion in industrial output is regarded by Beijing as appropriate to achieve an annual 8 percent GDP growth rate. Miao's ministry had an 11 percent target of industrial output growth for both 2010 and 2011.

China's latest five-year plan targets an average annual GDP growth rate of 7 percent over the five-year period, with industrial output targeted at 10 percent.

Huang Libin, a senior official with the industry ministry, said at an online briefing last month that China's factory output growth may hit 12-13 percent in 2012.

CONSOLIDATION

Miao said China would try to cut energy consumption for every yuan of industrial output by 5 percent in 2012, and cut water consumption by 7 percent.

According to China's state radio, Miao's ministry has decided to launch a number of new initiatives designed to safeguard the healthy development of China's economy.

The focus will be put on consolidation of key industries.

"We will launch implementation plans for mergers and acquisitions in sectors like steel, automobiles and cement," Miao was quoted as saying.

In addition, the ministry would try hard to boost the growth of strategic emerging industries and small industrial firms. ($1 = 6.3364 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Kevin Yao; Editing by Nick Edwards and Ramya Venugopal)

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