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China lowers growth target to 'around 6.5%'

China growth target has been tempered down as the country reaches an end to its export-led growth model. Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Beijing, China Mar 05, 2017, 12.31 AM (IST)

China has lowered this year's GDP target to "around 6.5 per cent" -- its lowest in decades -- as the economy faces a clump of challenges, most notably the flickering light on export-led growth.

This year's economic growth target is lower than the previous year, when the world's second-largest economy looked to grow between 6.5 and 7 per cent.

The economy finally gre at 6.7 per cent, the lowest growth rate since 1990.

The detailed report will be rubber-stamped by China's Premier Li Keqiang beginning at 9 am (0100 GMT).

"GDP is projected to grow by 6.5 percent approximately, however in practice, we will strive for better,” according to a copy of Li's planned address to the National People's Congress (NPC), the Communist Party-controlled legislature. 

Li's remarks said the target was still sufficient to meet the Communist Party's target of doubling the size of the economy by 2020, compared to 2010.

The NPC brings together thousands of politicians from across China, touted by the ruling party as proof that it answers to the people despite a monopoly on power, and is used to outline top national priorities and policies.

The target came in slightly below the expectations of analysts in a sign that authorities are prioritising risk control over short-term growth rates.  

China is trying to pivot from hyper-fast growth based on investment and exports towards a steadier consumer-driven model.

But the transition is complicated by slowing growth, a slumping currency, massive capital flight by Chinese enterprises seeking better returns abroad, and fears of a housing bubble and bad-loan crisis.

The government report also set an inflation target of "around 3 percent" for the year. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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