China decides not to set a GDP target for 2020 as coronavirus batters the economy
· Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shared the government’s outlook Friday as part of China’s annual parliamentary meeting, delayed by about two months this year due to the coronavirus.
· Last year, GDP expanded by 6.1%, just making the official target range of 6% to 6.5%.
Evelyn Cheng, CNBC
May 21 2020
BEIJING — China made a rare decision not to set a target for its economic growth for 2020 due to uncertainties about the impact of the coronavirus.
“I would like to point out that we have not set a specific target for economic growth this year,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in an English-language text of the work report delivered on Friday.
“This is because our country will face some factors that are difficult to predict in its development due to the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment,” Li said.
The remarks are part of China’s annual parliamentary meeting, which was delayed by about two months this year due to the coronavirus outbreak that began in China last year and has since spread globally.
As a result, some analysts expected ahead of the report that Li might share a GDP target for a timeframe other than 2020 itself. Last year, GDP expanded by 6.1%, just making the official target range of 6% to 6.5%.
“The fact that they dropped the GDP growth target is a good thing if it means that they really intend to let sustainable demand — consumption, exports, and private sector investment — drive growth,” Michael Pettis, professor of finance at Peking University, said Friday in an email.
“If they have only dropped it temporarily while they try to figure the full impact of the pandemic, and later select an implicit target that relies heavily on non-productive spending on infrastructure and real estate, then this really doesn’t change anything,” Pettis said...
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