China will further relax credit restrictions next year as the world's second largest economy slows and exports decline due to woes in Europe and the United States, according to a state-run think tank.
Gross domestic product is expected to expand 8.9 percent next year, according to forecasts by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) published in the China Daily newspaper.
That compares with an expected growth rate of 9.2 percent this year and follows the blistering 10.3 percent recorded in 2010, CASS said.
CASS deputy head Li Yang said he expected Beijing to announce more credit relaxation next year to counter the domestic slowdown and crises in key export markets.
"Monetary policy may be slightly loosened in the first half of next year, and the reserve requirement ratio for commercial banks will be further reduced," Li was quoted saying.
China last week cut the amount of money banks must keep in reserve for the first time in three years as it seeks to boost lending and spur activity to counter alarming signs of a domestic slowdown and the US and eurozone troubles.
Leading Chinese officials have painted a gloomy picture for the country's exports, warning that the eurozone debt crisis and sluggish recovery in the United States threatened the Asian economy.
CASS said China's exports would likely grow 17.3 percent next year compared with a forecast increase of 20.4 percent in 2011 as European and American consumers cut back on spending.
The country's consumer price index, a key gauge of inflation, is expected to slow to 4.6 percent next year from a forecast 5.5 percent this year, after punching above six percent this year due to soaring food and housing costs.
Growth in fixed-asset investment -- a key measure of government spending on infrastructure -- is expected to slow to 22.8 percent in 2012 from 24.5 percent this year, CASS added.