China drops GDP target mention, aims for ‘best possible’ results instead

China drops GDP target mention, aims for 'best possible' results instead
File photo. Employees work on the production line of vehicle components in Shanghai, China on Jul 21, 2022. (Photo: Reuters/Aly Song)

BEIJING: China will try hard to achieve the best possible results for the economy this year, state media said on Thursday (Jul 28) after a high-level meeting of the ruling Communist Party, in contrast to previous calls to meet its full-year economic growth target.

In the second half of 2022, China should “stabilise employment and prices, maintain economic operations within a reasonable range, and strive to achieve the best possible results”, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, after the 25-member Politburo chaired by President Xi Jinping met to assess the economy.

China is widely expected by analysts to miss its 2022 economic growth target of around 5.5 per cent for the first time since 2015, with its US$18 trillion economy battered this year by extensive COVID-19 curbs including full lockdowns of cities like Shanghai.

Gross domestic product in the first half grew 2.5 per cent from a year earlier, pointing to huge pressure in the second half, amid fears of a global recession, uncertainties from the Ukraine war and worries of any recurring COVID-19 lockdowns.

Xi, at the opening of a BRICS forum on Jun 22, said China would take more measures to achieve its annual economic goals while minimising the impact of its COVID-19 prevention and control as much as possible.

But during an inspection tour in the central city of Wuhan on Jun 28, he said China will “strive to reach a relatively good level of the economic development this year”.

Similarly, last week, Premier Li Keqiang said at the World Economic Forum that China will “strive for relatively good results in economic development for the whole year”.

Source: Reuters/aj