China has set a conservative economic growth target of 6% in 2021 to fall significantly below the analyst consensus of 7%, according to Reuters.
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the target took into account the recovery of economic activity after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- China’s GDP expanded 2.3% in 2020, the weakest in 44 years. It is the only major economy to report an expansion.
- Policy advisors said the target reflects public effort to demonstrate economic stability while keeping a lid on debt and risk appetite. The purpose is to show focus on higher quality, as growth is likely over 6%.
- Li pledged to spur domestic consumption and innovation, as the low target will give more room for reforms. Annual research and development spending will be hiked by 7% every year until 2025.
- China aims to create over 11 million new urban jobs in 2021 from the 9-million target in 2020.