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China sets GDP growth target at around 5% for 2024

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China sets GDP growth target at around 5% for 2024

China Sets GDP Growth Target at Around 5% for 2024

Shanghai/Beijing, March 5 (EFE) – China has announced its growth target for gross domestic product (GDP) for the current year, with Prime Minister Li Qiang revealing that the goal is set at “around 5%”. This news was shared during the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Assembly (ANP, Legislative).

While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) have forecasted growth rates of 4.6% and 4.5% for China in 2024, respectively, most analysts anticipated that the government would aim for a 5% growth target for the year.

In 2023, China had also set a growth target of “around 5%”, achieving a GDP increase of 5.2% for the year. However, repeating this figure in 2024 poses a greater challenge as the favorable comparison with the 3% growth in 2022 due to the ‘zero covid’ policy no longer applies.

In his speech on government work, Prime Minister Li also outlined other targets for 2024, including a deficit target of 3%, an urban unemployment rate of 5.5%, and around 3% for the unemployment rate. He also emphasized goals such as adding 12 million new urban jobs, maintaining a “basic balance” in the balance of payments, and reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2.5%.

The government plans to issue special bonds for local governments totaling 3.9 trillion yuan (541,907 million dollars) and create “ultra-long” duration treasury bonds to support national strategies, with 1 trillion yuan (138,947 million dollars) to be issued this year. Additionally, 700 billion yuan (97.263 million dollars) from the central government budget will be allocated for investments.

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Prime Minister Li acknowledged the challenges ahead in achieving the set objectives, urging unity and coordinated efforts from all parties. He emphasized the importance of maintaining stability and highlighted the growth potential of the Chinese economy.

Li also pointed out the difficulties faced in 2023, including sluggish global economic recovery, geopolitical conflicts, protectionism, and unilateralism. At the national level, challenges such as falling foreign demand, the real estate crisis, debt issues, and natural disasters need to be addressed.

To stimulate domestic consumption, a one-year stimulus program and an initiative on ‘worry-free consumption’ will be introduced, focusing on areas such as home automation, entertainment, tourism, and sports events. Measures will also be taken to attract more foreign investment, ensuring equal treatment for companies with foreign capital in public tenders.

Overall, the government is determined to navigate the economic challenges ahead and work towards achieving its growth targets for 2024.

(c) EFE Agency

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