NOTE: No news updates over January 24-30 due to the Chinese New Year holiday. Happy CNY!
GMT+8( BJT)

China discloses 2019 economic measures, growth targets

China’s Premier Li Keqiang drafted a few economic development targets including a gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 6-6.5% and proposed a series of measures to support the domestic economic performance for 2019 when delivering his government report at the National People’s Congress annual session on March 5.

For 2019, Beijing targets to provide 11 million new job opportunities, control registered unemployment rate within 4.5%, the CPI within 3%, and the government will be increasing the fiscal deficit to 2.8% of the total GDP, up 0.2 percentage points from 2018, which will be equivalent to Yuan 2.76 trillion ($412 billion) to support the domestic economy, and among the total deficit, the central government will shoulder Yuan 1.83 trillion.

Premier Li reiterated in the report that there will be no overwhelming stimulus funding for 2019 but the government will be adopting multiple and flexible monetary measures to guarantee reasonable capital flow in the market.

For 2019, Beijing aims to fulfil a total of Yuan 800 billion investment in rail construction and Yuan 1.8 trillion in road and water transportation, and to support the local economies, Beijing plans to increase the local government bonds quota to Yuan 2.15 trillion for 2019, or Yuan 800 billion higher than 2018.

For specific industries, China will be reducing the burden of taxations and fees on domestic manufacturers and small and micro enterprises via reducing the 16% VAT on the manufacturing industry to 13% and the prevalent 10% VAT on transportation and construction industries to 9%.

Besides, Beijing proposes to reduce the electricity cost among industrial and commercial enterprises by 10% on year for 2019.

Premier Li confirmed that the country will be continuing with its battling against air pollution with the regions including Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and neighboring areas, Yangtze River Delta, and the Fenwei Plains remaining the core of the attention, and it will accelerate the pace upgrading the technology in the thermal power and steel industries to realize ultra-low emission targets.

-Written by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com