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China Sets Growth Target For 2021

likeqiang march05 lt

China's government has set growth target for 2021, at the annual parliamentary meeting on Friday, as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

At the opening of the National People's Congress, Premier Li Keqiang announced that the government targets to achieve above 6 percent economic growth this year.

In 2020, the government avoided setting an annual growth target due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"A target of over 6% will enable all of us to devote full energy to promoting reform, innovation, and high-quality development," Li said.

The economy had expanded 2.3 percent last year, making China the only major economy to avoid a contraction amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this was the weakest growth since 1970s.

The very low GDP growth target for 2021 seems like there was no target at all because the consensus was 8 percent and ING's forecast of 7 percent, Iris Pang, an economist at ING said.

The fiscal deficit is expected to be about 3.2 percent of GDP compared to 3.6 percent in 2020.

Li said there are impediments to consumer spending. The latest government work report has focused on technology development and investment in research.

The surveyed jobless rate in urban areas is projected to reach 5.5 percent this year. The government plans to create more than 11 million urban jobs compared to over 9 million employment in 2020.

The government forecast consumer prices to rise around 3 percent in 2021.

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