China sets economic growth target of around 5% | Trending Viral hub


China’s top leaders on Tuesday set an ambitious growth target as its economy endures a sharp decline in the real-estate marketconsumer discomfort and investor distrust.

Premier Li Qiang, the country’s No. 2 official after Xi Jinping, said in his report to the annual session of the legislature that the government would aim for economic growth of about 5 percent. That’s the same goal China’s leaders set for themselves last year, when official statistics ended up showing that the country gross domestic product grew 5.2 percent.

Some economists question whether growth was as high as China claims. Additionally, there was a modest rebound last year because strict “zero Covid” measures were in place until December 2022. Achieving the same growth this year, without the benefit of that rebound, could be much more difficult.

Consumers and investors have been skeptical about the prospects for a lasting recovery. China’s stock markets fell sharply in January and early February, before recovering in the past four weeks, as the government took steps to encourage stock buying. But Li maintained that China was on the right path.

China had “resisted external pressures and overcome internal difficulties,” Li told the National People’s Congress, a body controlled by the Communist Party that passes laws and budgets. “The overall economy is recovering.”

The National People’s Congress, a week-long choreographed event, typically focuses on short-term government initiatives, especially economic goals. China’s growth goal and the ways the government is trying to achieve it are under intense international scrutiny this year.

Communist Party leaders are trying to restore confidence in China’s long-term prospects and tap new growth engines such as clean energy and electric vehicles. Mr. Li’s report also noted new spending on artificial intelligence and “enhancing disruptive and cutting-edge technology research,” according to Xinhua.

But those efforts could be slowed by a tangle of problems surrounding the real estate sector: a glut of apartments, debt problems Real estate companies and local governments, and home buyers reluctant to invest money in real estate when values ​​are falling.

Achieving China’s growth target this year may be difficult without another big round of debt-fueled state spending. Achieving annual growth of around 5 percent “will require decisive, comprehensive and coordinated policy support,” HSBC economists said on Friday.

Vivian Wang contributed reporting from Beijing.


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