Caixin
Nov 19, 2022 06:40 PM
ECONOMY

Caixin Summit: China Should Set GDP Target of No Less Than 5% for 2023, Top State Economist Says

What’s new: China should set a GDP growth target of no less than 5% for 2023, Liu Shijin, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top advisory body on governance, said at the 13th Caixin Summit, emphasizing the need to turn the economic downturn around.

“China’s economy has been growing at an average pace slower than its potential for the past three years,” Liu, a deputy director of the economic committee of the national committee of the CPPCC, told a panel audience in Beijing on Friday.

“The top priority now is getting economic growth back to a normal track or an appropriate range,” he said.

The slow growth in 2022 has created a low base, and as efforts to stimulate the economy — including the 16-point measures to help property firms secure financing and the easing of some Covid restrictions — take effect, momentum is building for the economy to recover, he said.

China’s GDP grew 3% year-on-year in the first three quarters this year, well below its annual target of around 5.5%, as waves of Covid-19 outbreaks and strict containment measures in line with Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy battered businesses and output.

A year-long industrywide property slump caused by tough regulation has also been weighing on economic growth.

The background: Liu is not the only economist at the Caixin Summit to highlight the need for China to speed up economic growth.

Yang Weimin, also a deputy director of the economic committee of the CPPCC, said China’s economy has grown “too slow” this year and is not in “an appropriate range,” calling for policymakers to balance economic expansion and other non-economic targets.

It’s difficult for China’s full-year growth to reach even 5% in 2022, according to Liu.

If the country can mostly or fully get over the impact from Covid-19 in the first half of 2023, supportive measures as well as further reform and opening-up could stabilize market expectations and restore confidence, the average GDP growth rate could reach 5% for 2022-2023, Liu said.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Zhang Yukun (yukunzhang@caixin.com) 

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