China has set a “reasonable target” for economic growth, said Jia Kang, a national political advisor and chief economist with the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics.
China’s year-on-year growth has slowed for six years in a row, falling from a growth rate of more than 10 percent in 2010.
The lower target was within general market expectations, as most analysts and institutions had forecast a similar target.
“We expect China to set its GDP growth target at about 6.5 percent for 2017, and it could grow 6.6 percent this year,” Ding Shuang, economist with Standard Chartered, had predicted previously.
J.P. Morgan China chief economist Zhu Haibin forecast in a research note earlier this month that the target range will not change from last year, but the actual growth rate will be 6.5 percent.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said in a January report that China’s growth will be 6.5 percent this year.
“With more and more encouraging signs for economic improvement, the economy may find the bottom near this year’s target,” Jia said.
China’s 6.7 percent growth last year outpaced most other economies and accounted for more than 30 percent of global growth, according to the report.
Last year, the consumer price index rose 2 percent. Industrial profits rose 8.5 percent, reversing a drop of 2.3 percent in 2015. Energy consumption per unit of GDP fell 5 percent.
In the wake of the international financial crisis, China’s growth has bid farewell to supercharged rates since the early 1990s and come down to medium-high growth, which the country frequently refers to as a “new normal.”
Globally, even 6.5 percent growth would be the envy of most economies, as the IMF forecast a mere 3.4 percent for world growth this year with 2.3 percent for the United States, 1.6 percent for the eurozone and only 0.8 percent for Japan.
China contributed more than a third of world economic growth last year, more than any other country, IMF data showed, and World Bank figures also back this up.
China’s economy will remain the strongest engine for world economic growth in 2017, as the fundamentals for China’s long-term growth have not changed, said Wang Guoqing, spokesperson for the fifth session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
China’s steady growth creates greater demand, a wider variety of products and more cooperation opportunities for the world, Wang said.
In Sunday’s report, the government made new commitments to opening China’s gates wider to the outside world and improving the environment for foreign investors.
Foreign companies will be allowed to be listed and issue bonds in China and to take part in national science and technology projects, the premier said.
“China’s door will keep opening wider, and China will keep working to be the most attractive destination for foreign investment,” Li said.