The following is an excerpt from Bloomberg News | March 6, 2016 | Bloomberg.com |
Rule No.1 in China’s blueprint for the next five years: "give top priority to development."
That’s the word from Premier Li Keqiang’s work report delivered Saturday at the start of the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing. Li acknowledged there would be some difficult battles ahead as he outlined plans to clean up the environment, boost innovation, further urbanize and cut excess capacity in industries like coal and steel. Yet the firmest target remains on the one thing he has the least control over -- the nation’s economic growth rate.
For 2016, a 6.5 percent to 7 percent growth range was outlined, with 6.5 percent pegged as the baseline through 2020. That would be less than last year’s 6.9 percent rate, the slowest growth in a quarter century. To reach the new target, the government will permit a record high deficit and has raised its money supply expansion target. The upshot: debt grows even as growth slows.
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