Guangdong's gross domestic product grew 13.3 per cent in the first 10 months of the year. The same rapid pace of growth is expected to be maintained in the remaining two months unless there is a new outbreak of Sars or some other unforeseen circumstance, economists said yesterday. Jinan University economist Tan Zuoping predicted full-year growth would not exceed 13 per cent. A government statistician said he expected the growth momentum to continue but would not commit himself to a figure. 'It is difficult to predict for the full year because there might be some unforeseen circumstances like the return of Sars. All I can say is that 11 per cent is not a problem,' the government official said. The growth rate so far has exceeded the 9 per cent target set at the start of the year to take into account the effect of the Iraq war. The estimate was later revised to 11 per cent after economic indicators strengthened. Guangdong's economy has remained robust despite the impact of Sars on retail, catering and tourism businesses in the first quarter. Professor Tan said the strong growth was driven by a spurt in investment, especially in infrastructure development and in exports. Investment in infrastructure development alone was up 43.2 per cent year on year, while total fixed asset investment rose 29 per cent year on year, to 349.6 billion yuan (HK$332.9 billion). Exports grew by 26.1 per cent to US$121.7 billion. Professor Tan said he expected spending on infrastructure to level off in the last two months as most of the major projects were already under way but consumption was expected to pick up in December in the run up to an early Lunar New Year. Guangdong's GDP grew at a rate of 10.5 per cent in 2002. State media meanwhile quoted Guangzhou vice-mayor Lin Yuanhe as saying that the city's full-year growth rate was expected to hit 15 per cent.