China sets GDP growth target at 7.5 percent for 2014

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Beijing, China (4E) – The Chinese government predicts a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.5 percent in 2014, according Premier Li Keqiang in a report to country’s legislature on Wednesday.

Mr. Li’s work report, which kicks off the National People’s Congress annual meeting, is his first since he was named premier in last year’s legislative gathering.

Economic growth has repeatedly surpassed the government’s estimate, posting a 7.7 percent pace last year. However, economists say that it will be difficult to achieve that GDP growth as the economy becomes mature.

Previous data have shown that the manufacturing sector fell this year, while trade and credit expansion climbed.

Mr. Li seeks to contain consumer price inflation within 3.5 percent, similar as last year’s goal. Inflation in 2013 was kept well within the government’s target, with the consumer-price index (CPI) rising 2.6 percent.

The Chinese premier also set a target of 13 percent for the growth of M2, the country’s broadest measure of money supply, unchanged from 2013. Last year, it expanded 13.6 percent, slightly faster than the official forecast.

Mr. Li also reiterated the government’s commitment to liberalize interest rates, loosen the tight trading band for the Chinese currency and increase capital-account convertibility.

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