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China aims for 6.5-7% economic growth in 2016
[BEIJING] China is aiming to expand its economy by 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent in 2016 and keep consumer inflation around 3 per cent, Premier Li Keqiang said in remarks prepared for delivery at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament on Saturday.
The government is also aiming for annual growth in broad M2 money supply of around 13 per cent and a budget deficit of 3 per cent of gross domestic product in 2016, Mr Li said in the work report.
Weighed down by sluggish demand at home and abroad, industrial overcapacity and faltering investment, China's economic growth slowed to 6.9 per cent in 2015, its weakest in a quarter of a century, and economists widely expect it to cool further to around 6.5 per cent this year.
Some China watchers believe real growth levels are already much weaker than official data suggests.
China's leaders had been widely expected to target economic growth at between 6.5 per cent and 7 per cent this year, setting a range for the first time because policymakers are uncertain about the economy's prospects.