China will lower its 2017 economic growth target to around 6.5 percent from last year’s 6.5-7 percent, policy sources said, reinforcing a policy shift from supporting growth to pushing reforms to contain debt and housing risks.
The proposed target was endorsed by top leaders at the closed-door Central Economic Work Conference in mid-December, according to four sources with knowledge of the meeting outcome.
“The target will be around 6.5 percent, which indicates that slightly slower growth is acceptable,” said one of the sources, a policy adviser.
The State Council Information Office, the public relations arm of the government, declined to comment.
The world’s second-largest economy likely grew around 6.7 percent last year – roughly in the middle of the government’s target range – but it faces increasing uncertainties in 2017, the head of China’s state planning agency said on Jan. 10.
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