China on Friday restored its annual economic growth target, setting it at above 6.0 per cent, and pledged to create more jobs in cities than last year, as the world’s second-biggest economy emerged from a year disrupted by the effects of Covid-19.
In 2020, China dropped its gross domestic product growth target in 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% for this year,” Premier Li Keqiang said in his 2021 work report. “In setting this target, we have taken into account the recovery of economic activity.”
China’s GDP expanded 2.3 per cent last year, the only major economy to see growth.
China will target creation of more than 11 million new urban jobs, Li said in his report delivered at the opening of this year’s meeting of parliament. That’s up from a goal of over 9 million new urban jobs last year, and in line with recent years.
In line with an improving economy, the government is targeting a 2021 budget deficit of around 3.2 per cent of GDP, less than a goal of above 3.6 per cent last year.
The quota on local government special bond issuance was set at 3.65 trillion yuan ($563.65 billion), also down from 3.75 trillion yuan last year.
China also has no plan to issue special treasury bonds this years, after issuing such bonds for the first time last year to support the virus-hit economy.
The government has set its 2021 target for consumer price inflation at around 3%, compared with a target of around 3.5 per cent last year.