BEIJING — China’s premier, Li Keqiang, on Saturday introduced a goal for the nation’s economic system to broaden “round 5.5 %” this yr, signaling the federal government’s emphasis on stabilizing development within the face of worldwide uncertainty from the pandemic and the warfare in Ukraine.
Premier Li laid out the aim in his annual coverage speech on the opening in Beijing of a weeklong session of China’s Communist Celebration-controlled legislature. The goal appeared aimed toward sustaining political and financial stability as Xi Jinping, China’s chief, appears to safe one other five-year time period in energy at a celebration assembly this fall.
The expansion aim means that China values financial development greater than making an attempt to rebalance output. Beijing has been making an attempt, with restricted success, to shift the economic system away from its dependence on debt-fueled infrastructure investments and towards a extra sustainable reliance on home consumption.
Western economists have predicted that the Chinese language economic system can develop 5 % solely by additional rising its already heavy borrowing and spending.
The stimulus plan comes amid rising indicators of a deceleration within the Chinese language economic system. Continued lockdowns and journey restrictions to forestall the coronavirus epidemic from spreading have brought on a downturn in spending at inns and eating places.
China’s enormous development trade is stalling as house consumers flip cautious, with builders starting to default on money owed. Dwindling income from land gross sales have made some native governments extra cautious about constructing extra roads and bridges.
The federal government stated in January that development final yr was 8.1 %. However by the final three months of final yr, the economic system was rising solely 4 %.
Keith Bradsher reported from Beijing, and Chris Buckley from Sydney. Li You, Liu Yi and Claire Fu contributed analysis.