Premier Li Keqiang said China needs 7.2 percent growth to keep unemployment stable and signaled reluctance to widen the budget deficit or ease monetary policy to ensure expansion.
Expansion at that pace would create 10 million jobs a year to maintain the urban registered jobless rate at about 4 percent, Li said in an Oct. 21 speech to the All-China Federation of Trade Unions published yesterday on its website. China’s growth has entered a stage of medium-to-high speed, meaning about 7.5 percent or above 7 percent, Li said.
The comments, consistent with other government statements this year, provide more context for targets in the coming years ahead of the Communist Party’s four-day conclave starting Nov. 9 that will consider reforms aimed at maintaining the pace of growth. Leaders are entering the summit with the economy on an upswing, indexes of manufacturing and services in October show.
“Using the deficit and issuing money to stimulate investment can produce results that year, but corresponding operational room is needed to implement fiscal and monetary policies,” Li said. “More importantly, this kind of short-term stimulus is hard to sustain.”
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