Restarting economy, sticking to 6% growth target crucial

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/17 22:13:40

Photo: VCG

Despite downward pressure from the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak, China should redirect its focus toward reviving the economy as soon as possible by setting a clear GDP growth target for the year.

According to past experience, China generally announces its GDP target growth range during the two sessions, one of the country's most important annual political gatherings. While it is unclear whether or not the two sessions will be postponed this year, it is conceivable that economic issues will continue to take center stage and that the top leadership will likely call for more efforts to stabilize growth. 

A clear goal for GDP growth will reveal how pressing the task of restarting the economy is, injecting a greater sense of urgency into governments and industries at all levels. It is time to re-propose a 6 percent growth target for 2020 despite the continuing epidemic.

The COVID-19 outbreak has seriously disrupted the general pace of production and business operations in China. While businesses in most regions of the country were scheduled to resume work on February 10, most businesses have yet to return to normalcy amid slow resumption progress. In actuality, virus prevention and control measures should not conflict with economic development, and the two issues should be complementary. Supplies of medical goods and various necessities will be affected if work resumption is impeded.

Many are now looking forward to very loose fiscal and monetary policies to offer the massive stimulus needed for an economic revival. While top-level policy adjustment and support is certainly crucial, efforts from local governments are also imperative to ensure GDP growth is top of the agenda this year.

Currently, the mainstream forecast regarding the Chinese economy is that the growth rate will not fall below 5 percent for 2020, which does not offer a sense of urgency. Even as the epidemic persists, the entire country is entering a critical period of returning to normalcy. Without a sense of urgency and vigilance toward the economic crisis, progress will drag on.

Before the outbreak of the virus, it wasn't of particular importance whether or not China's 2020 GDP growth would reach 6 percent, as long as the economy moved forward steadily. Yet, things changed with the virus. All-out efforts are now needed from both central authorities and local governments to lift the economy out of its standstill. And a 6 percent growth target is now essential in terms of assessing the economic performance of local governments during these difficult times.

Posted in: GT VOICE

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