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China’s targets for 2017: 6.5 percent growth, deeper structural reforms

Updated: Mar 5,2017 3:51 PM

Premier Li Keqiang on March 5 set out details of the government’s objectives in 2017, focusing on the economy, the environment and China’s opening up to the world.

China aims to trim its 2017 GDP growth target to “around 6.5 percent” as the world’s second-largest economy, already expanding at the slowest pace in a quarter-century, faces an array of challenges.

“GDP is projected to grow by 6.5 percent approximately, however in practice, we will strive for better,” Premier Li said.

He said the target was still sufficient to meet the target of doubling the size of the economy by 2020, compared to 2010.

The deficit to GDP ratio is projected to be 3 percent, with fiscal deficit set at 2.38 trillion yuan. CPI will be kept at around 3 percent.

There will be a steady rise in import and export volumes, and a basic balance of international payments.

A prudent and neutral monetary policy will be pursued. The M2 money supply and aggregate financing are forecast to grow by around 12 percent in 2017.

China aims to create more than 11 million jobs this year, with registered urban unemployment rate kept within 4.5 percent. The country added 13.14 million jobs in 2016, and the registered urban jobless rate stood at 4.02 percent at the end of last year.

China will do more to unleash the potential of domestic demand in 2017 and strengthen the role of domestic demand in sustaining growth, and supply-side structural reforms will be given priority. The Premier emphasized the potential of domestic demand in the economy, and the need to reform industries with innovation.

Costs will be cut for small businesses, with corporate income tax on companies with low profits halved.

Central government departments should cut expenditures by no less than 5 percent, and no increase in spending on official overseas trips, hospitality or vehicles will be allowed.