June 20, 2024

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China sets GDP target of ‘around 5%’ for 2024

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China’s Premier Li Qiang speaks during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024. 

Denis Balibouse | Reuters

BEIJING — China set a growth target of “around 5%” for 2024, according to the “Government Work Report” released Tuesday.

The targets for GDP and other economic indicators were published as part of the opening of the National People’s Congress annual meeting.

Last year China’s economy grew by 5.2%, matching the official target of around 5%. The overall rebound from the pandemic was slower than many expected, while growth also faced drags from a slump in real estate and exports.

The target for this year largely matches expectations as economists also expected the government to modestly increase the official fiscal deficit to above 3%. Investors will also watch the work report and government commentary for any clues on policy support for property and other parts of the economy.

China plans to target an urban unemployment rate of around 5.5%, the creation of 12 million new urban jobs and a consumer price index increase of around 3%. The 2024 targets were the same as those set for 2023.

In 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics said the country averaged a 5.2% unemployment rate in cities and created 12.44 million jobs. However, the consumer price index rose by 0.2% amid lackluster demand.

The work report emphasized the need to “ensure both high-quality development and greater security,” preventing risks and maintaining social stability, among other tasks.

It called for implementing the decisions and plans of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee.

China’s economic policies for the year ahead are typically discussed by top party leaders in December. Local governments hold their own meetings to set regional growth targets, before the National People’s Congress announces the goal for the entire country.

Beijing in recent years has downplayed the number in favor of what it calls “high-quality” growth.

The work…

2024-03-04 19:11:00

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