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China think tank sees 2013 exports rising 8 percent, imports up 7.8 percent

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's exports are likely to grow 8 percent in 2013 from the previous year while imports could rise 7.8 percent, leading government think tank the State Information Centre (SIC) said in a research report published on Wednesday.

"China's foreign trade will expand slowly in 2013 as factors hampering global economic recovery may not disappear easily while China's economic growth will stabilize," it said in the report published in the China Securities Journal.

China's exports grew 7.3 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 from a year earlier, while imports grew 4.1 percent, official data showed. The government aims for 10 percent growth for combined exports and imports this year.

China's economy could grow 8 percent in 2013, with industrial output expanding 10.5 percent, the think tank said.

The economy is on track to grow around 7.7 percent in 2012, overshooting the official target of 7.5 percent. Sources told Reuters last week the government is likely to stick with the 7.5 percent growth goal in 2013.

China could see a 3 percent annual rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows next year to $116 billion, the SIC report said.

China's retail sales are likely to grow 14.6 percent in 2013, quickening from 14.2 percent this year, thanks to rising incomes as the government pushes forward reforms and urbanization, according to the forecasts.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Paul Tait)

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