China’s finance minister downplays GDP target

china's finance minister

Beijing, March 6: China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei Thursday called for more comprehensive understanding of the country’s growth target this year instead of merely fixating on the 7.5-percent figure.

GDP growth, inflation and employment are all key factors that should be taken into consideration when assessing economic conditions, Lou stressed at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, reported Xinhua.

Premier Li Keqiang had announced Wednesday the country will target an unchanged 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2014, while vowing to keep inflation at around 3.5 percent and creating 10 million more urban jobs to ensure the registered urban unemployment rate does not rise above 4.6 percent.

Lou said that a growth of 7.3 percent or 7.2 percent can still be counted within that range.

“Whether the final reading is at a touch more or less than the 7.5 percent target is not that important. Employment is the key,” he added.

Lou said the country’s ongoing tax reforms in the service industry will help boost jobs in the sector, which has contributed a substantial part of jobs created last year.