Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security in Beijing, capital of China, May 6, 2016. Photo: Xinhua
China has been trying to maintain its economic growth rate within a reasonable range, with the bottom line set to guarantee employment, said a Chinese official on Sunday .
“As long as there is no problem with the employment, it is acceptable for the economic growth to be either a little bit higher or lower (than the target),” said Huang Shouhong, leader of the team drafting the 2017 government work report and the director of the research office of the State Council, during a press conference.
Huang made the remarks after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced China’s gross domestic product growth target for 2017 was set at around 6.5% at the opening of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress on Sunday.
Li also stressed that China “aims for a better result” in the GDP growth rate in the actual work.
“It showed we left some flexible room for the development, for pushing forward the reforms as well as the structural adjustment,” Huang said.
China set a goal to create over 11 million new urban jobs and control the registered urban unemployment rate within 4.5% in 2017, according to the 2017 government work report.
Based on the current coefficient of elasticity, 1 percent of GDP growth can help to create 1.9 million to 2 million more jobs, and the GDP growth target of “around 6.5%” can meet the goal of creating over 11 million jobs for this year, said Huang.
Huang said this year’s economic growth target was also set in consideration of the “rising complexity, uncertainty and instability factors in international environment” as well as China’s ongoing supply-side structural reform and the requirement for improving the quality and effectiveness of the economic growth.
In response to what measures China would take to prevent the economy from dropping below 6.5%, Huang said there would be “sufficient measures and innovative tools” this year to handle such a “special case.”
Analysts said the economic growth target this year showed China would have little tolerance for a growth rate below 6.5%. Meanwhile, it also showed Chinese policy makers are confident in the country’s economic growth.
China’s economy has been heading in a good direction since the third quarter of last year, which should be partly attributed to the two new engines in driving the economic development, Huang told reporters.
One of the new engines is new technology and new industrial patterns that helped to boost China’s information and online shopping industry, which created more than 120 billion yuan in consumption last year on the Single’s Day on Tmall.com alone, Huang said.
Another new engine is China’s traditional industry, which has been improved and upgraded thanks to the closing of businesses and efforts to cut overcapacity, according to Huang.
“The two new engines together have not only promoted last year’s (GDP growth), but will also help to push up this year’s (GDP growth),” Huang noted.