UTC+8 ( BJT)

China’s NPC proposes GDP growth at over 6% for 2021

China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, has proposed the target for the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be at least 6% on year this year when holding its annual meeting in Beijing for the first day on March 5.

The proposed GDP growth target is also back to the original track that China usually specify a number instead of a range for the economic development, though this time NPC set just the bottom line, which appeared lower than the 8.1% on-year projection by the International Monetary Fund in early January.

Last year, when the NPC finally convened in May, later than the usual March because of the COVID-19 outbreak for most of the first quarter of 2020, it did not set a specific growth target because of uncertainties brought by the pandemic in both China’s and the world’s economic outlook. 

In the end, China’s GDP still managed to grow 2.3% on year to Yuan 101.6 trillion ($15.7 trillion), making China’s the only major economy globally to post positive growth, as Mysteel Global reported.

Except for the GDP target, NPC also propose to lower the government budget deficit ratio to around 3.2% this year from 3.6% last year, as Beijing decided to enlarge the deficit and increase fiscal spending in order to cushion the hit of COVID-19 in 2020.

Last year, special government bonds totalling Yuan 1 trillion were issued specifically to fight the pandemic. This year, Beijing will no longer issue any pandemic bonds and moreover, the local government bond issuance for specific uses will be reduced to Yuan 3.65 trillion too from Yuan 3.75 trillion in 2020.

During the meeting, the call from NPC to reduce carbon emissions and cut down on energy consumption was clear. On Friday, the NPC stressed that this year, the country needs to steadily promote related work to achieve carbon climax by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, and to formulate an action plan for the 2030 carbon peak.  

In the meantime, NPC proposed that the country’s energy intensity – energy consumption per unit of GDP – should decline by 3% on year in 2021, a much clearer goal compared with last year’s vague expression that energy intensity should “continue to decline”.

All the targets are yet to be finalized and still require the review and vote of NPC representatives.

Written by Olivia Zhang, zhangwd@mysteel.com

Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com