China\'s economic growth will maintain annual growth of 8 percent during the next five years as the world\'s No. 2 economy will continue to lose steam, a state-run think tank said Friday. In the first six months of the year, the Chinese economy expanded 9.6 percent, compared with a 10.3 percent increase a year earlier. Lu Zhongyuan, deputy director of the State Council Development Research Center, said that China\'s gross domestic product (GDP) will continue to grow more than an average of 8 percent per year from 2012 to 2016, as the Chinese government seeks balanced growth across the country. Slower growth rates will actually help China contain rising prices and readjust the country\'s economic structure, as well as reduce energy consumption and emissions, the official said. He said the reasonable fluctuation range of China\'s economic growth should be between eight and 12 percent in view of the performance of China\'s economy since the adoption of nationwide reform and opening-up policies in the late 1970s. The expert also predicted China\'s economic growth rate is expected to exceed 9 percent this year. \"There is no need to worry about a hard landing for the Chinese economy,\" he said. \"Recent slowdowns in China\'s economic growth are within the normal scope.\"