China slashes 2017 GDP target to 6.5%

China slashes 2017 GDP target to 6.5%

 China on Sunday cut its GDP growth target to 6.5% in 2017, a 25-year-low, as the world’s second largest economy braced for further slowdown with Premier Li Keqiang warning of a far more complicated global picture in the year ahead.

China will “pursue better results in actual economic work”, Li said, while addressing the country’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC).

“China has set its GDP growth target at around 6.5% for 2017, compared with a target range of 6.5-7% for 2016,” according to the government work report.

The previous low was a 6% target for the gross national product growth in 1992, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The projected target is in line with both economic principles and realities, the report said, adding that it will help stabilise market expectations and facilitate the country’s structural adjustments.

It will also contribute to achieving the goal of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, the report said.

Defending his move to fix the 6.5% target, Li said that it was important for China to maintain steady growth to ensure employment and improve people’s lives.

This year’s target for urban job creation is over 11 million, up by one million from 2016, underlining the greater importance China attaches to employment.

Li also said the economy registered a slower but stable growth. The GDP last year reached 74.4 trillion yuan (over $11 trillion), representing 6.7%.

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