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China's GDP growth to exceed 7.5 pct in Jan-Sept - Premier

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Growth in China's economy should hold above 7.5 percent in the first nine months of this year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday, in a hint that the nation's third-quarter growth report would not let down investors looking for solid expansion.

Li said the world's No. 2 economy has shown stronger growth momentum in recent months, backed by improvements in the real economy, including rising power consumption, business profits and government revenues.

China is set to release its third-quarter economic growth report on Friday, Oct 18, and analysts expect activity to have expanded by 7.8 percent from a year ago.

"In the past few months, our economy has shown stronger momentum," Li told a regional summit of Southeast Asian and U.S. politicians.

"With China's gross domestic product expected to stay above 7.5 percent for the first three quarters this year, a medium-to-high rate of growth, we have confidence in fulfilling the targets set out for economic and social development of 2013," Li said.

China has set an annual economic growth target of 7.5 percent, a goal Beijing repeatedly expresses confidence in achieving, though it still marks the weakest pace of expansion in more than 20 years.

After slowing in nine of the past 10 quarters, China's economy appears to have stabilised since June after Beijing acted to head off a sharper downturn. But analysts have warned that any rebound in activity would be short-lived if the government keeps its promise and sticks to its reform agenda.