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China's economic growth more like 4%: Marc Faber

China's economy is probably growing at an annual rate of 4 percent, said Marc Faber, editor and publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, brushing aside a recent string of upbeat economic numbers from the world's second biggest economy.

"I said to an economist I think China is growing at 4 percent per annum and he said do you mean minus 4 percent?," Faber told CNBC on the sidelines of a hedge fund conference in Singapore on Wednesday.

"I don't think [China's economic growth] is minus 4 percent, but we do have to adjust a lot of economic statistics for the credit that has been pushed into the system that is not sustainable in the long-run," he added.

China's economy grew 7.7 percent last year and the country has a 2013 growth target of 7.5 percent.

ChinaFotoPress - Getty Images

Economists say high credit growth is one of the main risks facing China's economy and in recent months the central bank has taken some steps to address the issue such as allowing tight liquidity conditions in money markets.

August industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment data were all stronger-than-expected, boosting optimism about the outlook for China's economy.

But Faber brushed aside recent data pointing to a rebound in China's economy, saying he was looking at other indicators such as trade data from regional neighbors that might provide a better picture of Chinese demand.

(Read more: China HSBC PMI shows economic recovery intact)

"You have to look at other indicators that are more reliable such as export data from Taiwan and South Korea," he said.

The latest data from Taiwan shows exports rose 3.6 percent on year in August, below market expectations for a 3.9 percent increase.

(Read more: China is right to tame credit growth: Moody's)

Faber reiterated his favorable view on gold, saying the precious metal was relatively inexpensive.

"In the long-run, we have a huge bull-market in gold. Between 1999 and 2011, we peaked at $1,921 and went down to $1,180 and are now slightly above $1,300," he said.

(Read more: Here's what Marc Faber likes more than gold)

"I think gold and especially gold equities are relatively inexpensive and the S&P [500] is relatively high," he added.

—By CNBC.Com's Dhara Ranasinghe; Follow her on Twitter @DharaCNBC

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