China sets modest target for annual GDP growth

The Chinese government on Friday defied expectations by doing something that's normally routine: setting a target for the economy.

Beijing chose not to do so last year in the midst of 2020 uncertainty.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang laid out the nation's ambitions for its GDP at Beijing's yearly session of parliament.

"The main expected goals for development this year are GDP growth of more than 6%, urban surveyed unemployment rate of about 5.5%, consumer price index (CPI) at about 3%."

The GDP growth target of 6% was seen as modest by analysts - who had predicted China's growth this year could soar to 8%.

Last year China grew by just a little over 2%, its weakest in more than 40 years.

However it was the only major economy to grow at all in 2020.

"China's development this year still faces many risks and challenges, but the fundamentals of the long-term economic improvement have not changed."

Li also pledged to boost employment, pledging to create 11 million jobs.

Video Transcript

- The Chinese government on Friday defied expectations by doing something that's normally routine-- setting a target for the economy. Beijing chose not to do so last year in the midst of 2020 uncertainty. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang laid out the nation's ambitions for its GDP at Beijing's yearly session of parliament.

LI KEQIANG: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: The main expected goals for development this year--

LI KEQIANG: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: --our GDP growth of more than 6%.

LI KEQIANG: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: --an urban-surveyed unemployment rate of about 5.5%--

LI KEQIANG: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: --and the consumer price index at about 3%.

LI KEQIANG: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

- The GDP growth target of 6% was seen as modest by analysts who had predicted China's growth this year could soar to 8%. Last year China grew by just a little over 2%, its weakest in more than 40 years. However, it was the only major economy to grow at all in 2020.

LI KEQIANG: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: China's development this year still faces many risks and challenges, but the fundamentals of the long-term economic improvement have not changed.

- Li also pledged to boost employment, pledging to create 11 million jobs.