China keeps 2013 GDP growth target unchanged at 7.5%

Updated: 2013-03-05 09:33


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BEIJING -- China maintains its 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target unchanged at around 7.5 percent this year to leave some leeway for economic restructuring, according to a government work report to be delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the annual legislative session Tuesday.

The targeted growth also aims to create jobs and improve people's wellbeing, according to the report.

This marks the second consecutive year for the world's second-largest economy to target growth at 7.5 percent. In 2012, the government cut the forecast rate for the first time in eight years from a longstanding annual goal of 8 percent.

The report says the profound impact of the global financial crisis persists, and the recovery of the world economy is "full of uncertainty and not yet on a stable footing."

However, the report also cites the "considerably increased capacity" of China's manufacturing industry, "significantly improved" infrastructure over the years, high savings rate and large workforce as "favorable conditions and positive factors" to sustain development.

"In light of comprehensive considerations, we deem it necessary and appropriate to set this year's target for economic growth at about 7.5 percent, a goal that we will have to work hard to attain," reads the report.

China's economic growth eased further to a 13-year low of 7.8 percent in 2012, from 9.2 percent recorded in 2011 and 10.3 percent in 2010. The country's GDP stood at 51.9 trillion yuan (about $8.3 trillion) last year.

In 2011, the government announced it targeted an average of 7 percent annual GDP growth in the years of 2011-2015, or the country's 12th Five-Year Plan period.

"We must maintain a proper level of economic growth in order to provide necessary conditions for creating jobs and improving people's wellbeing and to create a stable environment for changing the growth model and restructure the economy. We must ensure that economic growth is in accord with the potential economic growth rate," says the report.

The maintaining of a relatively slower growth target aims to guide all the people to shift the focus of their work to accelerating the change of the growth model, restructuring the economy and improving the quality and performance of economic growth, so as to promote sustained and healthy economic development, according to the report.

The Chinese government also decides to rein in inflation more decisively by lowering the control target of this year's consumer price index (CPI) increase to around 3.5 percent, compared with 4 percent targeted last year.

The government cooled down the inflation rate to 2.6 percent year-on-year in 2012. The inflation rate eased further to 2 percent in January this year.

To achieve the targeted goals in GDP and CPI, the Chinese government vows in the report to continue a "proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy", maintain continuity and stability of policies, and make them more forward-looking, targeted and flexible.