China maintained its economic-growth target at 7.5 percent for 2013 while setting a lower inflation goal of 3.5 percent, setting up a challenge for new leaders to keep prices in check without harming expansion.
The figures came in the text of Premier Wen Jiabao’s work report released in Beijing today ahead of his final opening address to almost 3,000 lawmakers at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.
The biggest decline in Chinese stocks in 18 months, triggered yesterday by government measures to cool the property market, underscored the challenge of controlling prices while sustaining a recovery in growth from a 13-year low last year. Li Keqiang, set to succeed Wen next week in a once-a-decade power handover, also needs to prevent a build-up of risk in the financial system.
The targets follow an emphasis by the Communist Party’s new leaders on sustainable rather than fast growth and intensified efforts last week by the government to tame property prices.
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