China targets economic growth of 6.5-7pc in 2016
China's economic growth rate target has been set at 6.5 to 7 percent in 2016, with an average annual growth rate of at least 6.5 percent through 2020, Premier Li Keqiang said Saturday when presenting the government work report to the annual parliamentary session. Last year's target was "around 7 percent," and China registered 6.9 percent growth, the slowest expansion in a quarter of a century.
This year's target is aligned with China's goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and takes into consideration the need to advance structural reform, Li said at the fourth session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC). "It will also help guide market expectations and keep them stable. The aim of maintaining stable growth is primarily to ensure employment and promote the people's wellbeing, and a growth rate of between 6.5 percent and 7 percent will allow for relatively full employment," Li said. The country's urban job creation target remains at least 10 million. Last year's 6.9-percent growth added 13.12 million new urban jobs.
"...China's economic output had exceeded 60 trillion yuan. Every percentage point of GDP growth today is equivalent to 1.5 percentage points of growth five years ago or 2.5 percentage points of growth ten years ago. The larger the economy grows, the greater the difficulty of achieving growth," Li said. A brief overview of China's 13th Five-Year Plan was also included in Li's report. The country expects an average annual growth rate of at least 6.5 percent from 2016 through 2020, when China will have GDP of 90 trillion yuan ($13.8 trillion). The adoption of a range in the economic target is China's first since 1995, and offers more flexibility for the government. In a report ahead of the NPC session, economists with Bank of America Merrill Lynch said a range would be "a laudable move as it would leave some room for structural reforms without stretching on short-term growth objectives."