China sets modest GDP growth target as economy improves
China on Friday set a modest annual economic growth target, at above 6%, and pledged to create more jobs in cities than last year, as the world’s second-biggest economy emerged from a year disrupted by the effects of COVID-19, Trend reports citing Reuters.
In 2020, China dropped a gross domestic product growth target from the premier’s work report for the first time since 2002 after the pandemic devastated its economy.
“As a general target, China’s growth rate has been set at over 6% for this year,” Premier Li Keqiang said in his 2021 work report. “In setting this target, we have taken into account the recovery of economic activity.”
China’s GDP expanded 2.3% last year, the only major economy to see growth.
But the 2021 target was significantly below the consensus of analysts, who expect growth could beat 8% this year. Chinese shares fell.
“If sequential growth averages zero from Q1 to Q4 this year, we will get around 6.1% annual growth this year,” Nomura said in a note.
“Beijing does not want to set a growth target too close to 8.0% as it does not want to slash the growth target next year.”