China set its GDP growth target for this year at between 6 percent and 6.5 percent as the country pursues higher-quality development amid mounting uncertainties in the international economic landscape, according to the annual government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday morning.
Li delivered the report at the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC).
The country will face a complicated situation this year and while taking measures to stabilize the economy, China will continue to pursue comprehensive economic opening-up, according to the report.
Last year, the target was set at "around 6.5 percent" and China's real GDP growth came in at 6.6 percent year-on-year
Last year, the target was set at "around 6.5 percent" and China's real GDP growth came in at 6.6 percent year-on-year. It was down from 6.8 percent in 2017.
The spill-over effect of interest rate hikes and balance sheet contraction in the United States and uncertainties arising from trade disputes among major powers risk driving down global economic and trade growth this year. China, as a result, will face challenges in its efforts to achieve stable growth.
The country will make utmost efforts to keep its GDP growth "within a reasonable range", the report read.
Facing downward pressure on growth, China plans to cut nearly 2 trillion yuan (US$298.3 billion) in taxes and corporate pension payments to bolster the corporate sector, especially private and small enterprises, according to the report.
China also set its target for consumer inflation growth at 3 percent for this year, while it will try to keep growth of the broad measure of money supply, or M2, largely at the same level as last year, the report read.
According to the report, policymakers will seek to create 11 million new jobs this year. The surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas will be kept at around 5.5 percent.
China will raise its fiscal deficit target to 2.76 trillion yuan, or 2.8 percent of GDP, 0.2 percentage point higher than last year.
China will raise its fiscal deficit target to 2.76 trillion yuan, or 2.8% of GDP, with total government expenditure budgeted at over 23 trillion yuan, up by 6.5% from last year
The measure is being taken to stabilize economic growth by enlarging government spending, according to the report.
As a major measure to tackle economic risks, the proactive fiscal policy in 2019 will become stronger and more efficient, Li said.
Total government expenditure is budgeted at over 23 trillion yuan, up by 6.5 percent from last year, according to the report.
It is also planned that local special-purpose debts will total 2.15 trillion yuan this year, 800 billion yuan more than last year, according to the report.
To maintain stable GDP growth, monetary policy will be neither too tight nor too loose, requiring that increases of monetary supply and aggregate financing be in line with nominal GDP growth rates, according to the report.
"We will refrain from using a deluge of stimulus policies," Li told participants of the opening of the session.
More targeted cuts of reserve-requirement ratios, or the amount of cash commercial banks are required to keep as reserves, will be launched this year, especially for small and medium-sized banks, to inject more funds into small and private companies, the report read.
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