Provincial-level governments in China have lowered their annual economic growth targets amid the unprecedented slowdown in the national economy.
Shanghai, the nation’s largest business center, with a per capita income of more than $10,000 a year, for the first time has even abandoned setting a GDP target.
Shanghai’s GDP growth expanded by 7 percent last year.
No provincial-level governments have been reported to have followed Shanghai’s example.
Of 28 provincial-level governments that have announced targets, 26 have cut their GDP growth goals by 0.5 to 3 percentage points.
Li Zuojun, a senior member of the State Council Development Research Center, a central government think tank, sees the slashing of GDP targets by provincial planners as part of the local transition to the country’s economic “new normal”.
According to a statement released after the Central Economic Work Conference, which ended on Dec 11, the “new normal” means a slower growth rate but higher quality, with China striving to keep economic growth and policies steady in 2015.
After a long period of world-record growth, China’s economic progress began to moderate last year, with GDP growth of 7.4 percent, the lowest since 1990.