Economy | China targets 6.5% economic growth in 2017, Li says

China targets 6.5% economic growth in 2017, Li says

Money supply and total social financing targets were lowered to 12% this year from 13% last year

March 5, 2017 1:01 PM (UTC+8)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers the keynote government work report during the opening session of the National People's Congress. Photo: Reuters
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers the keynote government work report during the opening session of the National People's Congress. Photo: Reuters

China is targeting a 6.5% growth in gross domestic product in 2017, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in the government work report in the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress on Sunday.

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China’s inflation rate growth will be capped at around 3%, Li said at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Last year, the country’s GDP growth was 6.7%, within its expected range between 6.5% and 7%. Inflation rate was 2%, below its target of 3%.

The number of new jobs in urban areas should reach 11 million while the unemployment rate in urban areas should be below 4.5%, Li said. In 2016, China created 13.14 million new jobs, beating its target of 10 million. At the end of last year, urban unemployment was 4.02%

Monetary policy should maintain prudent and steady with both its money supply, or M2, and total social financing (TSF) growth targets set at around 12% this year, compared with 13% last year, Li said.

In 2016, China’s M2 increased 11.3% from a year earlier. At the end of last year, outstanding TSF was 156 trillion yuan (US$22.6 trillion), up 12.8% from a year earlier.

The country will use different monetary measures to maintain market liquidity basically stable while directing market interest rates and encouraging financial resources to support its real economy, particularly the agricultural firms and small and micro enterprises, Li said.

The central government will coordinate its consumption, investment, industrial and environmental protection policies, aiming to secure that its economy will be growing within a reasonable range, he said. The central government is expected to record a fiscal deficit of 1.55 trillion yuan this year while the local governments are likely to see a combined fiscal deficit of 830 billion yuan.

Besides, China will continue to push forward its exchange rate market reform this year while maintaining renminbi’s status in the global currency system, he said.

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