China sets 2017 GDP growth target at around 6.5 per cent
China on Sunday cut its GDP growth target to 6.5 per cent 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", Premier Li said while addressing the country's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), which has gathered in Beijing for its annual session. "China has set its GDP growth target at around 6.5 per cent for 2017, compared with a target range of 6.5-7 per cent for 2016," according to the government work report. This closely-watched target is a 25-year low.
The previous low was a 6 per cent target for the gross national product growth in 1992. 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 per cent 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. China recently announced five lakh job cuts and promised to relocate those employees. Every year China produces over seven million graduates who join the job market.