China again sets its economic growth target for 2024 at “about 5%”

Shanghai/Beijing, March 5 (EFE). – China has today set a growth target for its gross domestic product (GDP) in the current year at “about 5%”, the country’s Prime Minister Li Kiang revealed during the inauguration . Annual session of the National People’s Assembly (ANP, Legislative).

Although forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) now call for growth of 4.6% and 4.5% respectively in 2024, most analysts agreed that officials will set the official target for this year at 5% .

In 2023, China has already set its growth target at “about 5%”, with official data ultimately pointing to GDP growth of 5.2% over the year overall, although repeating such figures on this occasion will be a major challenge. That would represent 1.5% as the comparative base last year was more favourable, as the world’s second-largest economy grew only 3% in 2022 due to the ‘zero Covid’ policy.

During his speech on government functioning, Lee set the deficit target for 2024 at 3%, the official unemployment rate in urban areas at 5.5%, and his threshold for the unemployment rate at “about 3%”. Consumer prices (CPI, main indicator of inflation)

Other official objectives this year will be adding 12 million new jobs in urban areas, “fundamental balancing” in the balance of payments, grain production by more than 650 million tonnes or a 2.5% decline in energy consumption per unit of GDP.

The government representative also pushed for the issuance of 3.9 trillion yuan ($541,907 million, 499,487 million euros) of special bonds for local governments or the creation of “ultra-long” duration treasury bonds starting this year to support national strategies. . Which will be issued this year 1 trillion yuan (138,947 million dollars, 128,089 million euros).

In addition, about 700 billion yuan ($97.263 million, 89.65 billion euros) from the central government budget will be designated for investment.

“Achieving the objectives will not be easy”

“Achieving this year’s targets will not be easy, so we must remain focused on our policies, work hard and make coordinated efforts from all parties,” Li said, before stressing the need to maintain “stability”. “

Particularly with regard to the objective of GDP growth, the Prime Minister assured that the authorities “take into account the need to boost employment and incomes and to prevent and neutralize risks”, and that this is the “growth of the second world economy”. Also refers to “ability”. ,

The politician assured that, in 2023, China faced “a set of underlying difficulties and challenges” due to a “sluggish” global economic recovery, worsening of geopolitical conflicts or an increase in protectionism and unilateralism.

Nationally, after three years of ‘zero Covid’, “many difficulties (…) had to be resolved” at the economic level, said Lee, who acknowledged that some of the problems coming from behind “may become more obvious”. Gone” “At that time. He emerged newly.

Li specifically pointed to the impact of a decline in foreign demand in the context of a lack of domestic demand, the crisis that has affected the real estate sector for more than two years, debt problems of local and regional governments or disasters. Natural.

Regarding domestic demand, the Prime Minister announced a one-year consumption promotion program and initiatives on “worry-free consumption” with emphasis on alternative sectors such as home automation, entertainment, tourism, sports events or brands. Elements of national design with Chinese.

With regard to foreign investment – ​​which according to some indicators could grow to its lowest rate in 30 years in 2023 – Lee assured that they would attract a larger amount with measures such as completely removing limits on the entry of foreign capital. Will work to do. Area. Manufacturing or partial in case of telecommunication or healthcare.

Similarly, the government report maintains that companies with foreign capital will be guaranteed “national treatment” and will be able to participate in public tenders “on an equal basis” with Chinese companies.

(c) EFE Agency

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