China lowers growth goal, targets lower inflation

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China lowers growth goal, targets lower inflation

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China has cut its economic growth target for this year to the lowest level in eight years — 7.5 percent — and Beijing said its top priority will be getting Chinese people to buy more.

The intention is to reduce the country’s dependence on exports and foreign investment.

China’s chief economic planner, Zhang Ping, said the long-term upward fundamentals for Chinese economic growth have not changed.

But the Director General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission added that they have set the growth target at 7.5 percent, down from last year’s 9.2 percent growth rate, because they want to “slow down economic growth a little bit” and better implement and speed up reforms.

The 7.5 percent target is down from the longstanding eight percent goal which China’s economic growth has repeatedly exceeded.

It slowed only during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and last year from the euro area debt crisis and a sluggish US economy. GDP was 10.4 percent in 2010.

Beijing also promised to address inflation, which remained stubbornly above the official four percent target every month last year. The annual rate for 2011 was 5.4 percent.

The chief planner said he was confident on prices, but he warned about influences such as rising labour and land costs.