China has set a target of six percent economic growth, taking into account the recovery of economic activity, after a year disrupted by the effects of COVID-19.
China has pledged to create more jobs in cities than last year, as its economy has emerged from a year.
In 2020, China dropped a gross domestic product (GDP) growth goal 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 percent for this year,” Premier Li Keqiang said in his 2021 work report delivered at the opening of this year’s meeting of parliament, or National People’s Congress. “In setting this target, we have taken into account the recovery of economic activity.”
“In 2021, China will continue to face many development risks and challenges but the economic fundamentals that will sustain long-term growth remain unchanged,” said Li. “A target of over 6 percent will enable all of us to devote full energy to promoting reform, innovation, and high-quality development.”
China’s GDP expanded by 2.3 percent last year, the only large economy to see growth.
But the 2021 goal was significantly below the consensus of analysts, who expect growth could beat 8 percent this year. Chinese shares fell.
“If sequential growth averages zero from [the first quarter to the fourth quarter] this year, we will get around 6.1 percent annual growth this year,” investment bank Nomura said in a note.
“Beijing does not want to set a growth target too close to 8 percent as it does not want to slash the growth target next year.”
Aninda Mitra, a senior sovereign analyst at BNY Mellon Investment Management, said the modest growth goal will allow the authorities to emphasize the quality of growth rather than its quantity.