Provinces set GDP targets generally above 5%, stress consumption in recovery from epidemic
Published: Jan 14, 2023 08:42 PM
Trucks wait to load containers at a container terminal in Rizhao, east China's Shandong Province, March 28, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

Trucks wait to load containers at a container terminal in Rizhao, east China's Shandong Province, March 28, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

A total of 23 Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have released their GDP growth targets for 2023 as of Friday, with most falling between 5-7 percent, which experts said shows improved confidence and expectation across the country in the economic recovery from the epidemic.

In line with the priorities highlighted by the recent Central Economic Work Conference which was held in Beijing on December 15 and 16, the economic work plans of the provinces this year generally emphasize boosting consumption. A Chinese expert noted that China's consumption growth is expected to exceed six percent this year.

The "two sessions" held by various provinces and autonomous regions have successively released local economic growth targets for 2023 over recent days. As of Friday, 23 provinces have released data, ranging from 4 to9.5 percent, Securities Times reported on Saturday.

Among these, South China's Guangdong Province, East China's Shandong Province and other major economic powerhouses have set targets above 5 percent. Hainan Province, with a strong consumption advantage, set its target to 9.5 percent.

The goals of the developed areas are instructive for this year's economic work and performance, Tian Yun, an independent macro analyst, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Shanghai, which leads the Yangtze River Delta region whose regional GDP accounts for nearly a quarter of the country's total, has set the GDP target above 5.5 percent. Guangdong, largest province by GDP, is above 5.

The Central Economic Work Conference last month placed emphasis on "expanding domestic demand." It also proposed that "the recovery and expansion of consumption should be given priority."

Provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have placed their focus on the expansion of domestic demand, especially the promotion of consumption, when formulating this year's key work arrangements. East China's Jiangxi Province, Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, East China's Shandong and Anhui Provinces all put the expansion of domestic demand at the top of their respective economic work priorities, The Paper reported.

Policies to expand domestic demand this year will be increased, and more policies will support the accelerated recovery of industries hit by the epidemic. Consumption growth is expected to see robust rebounding, one expert forecasted.

"Consumption recovery has shown strong momentum in January, and consumption can be expected to reach 6 percent this year, if there are no unexpected shocks," Tian said.

Recently, many institutions have raised their forecasts for China's economic growth in 2023. Morgan Stanley raised its forecast for China's GDP growth rate in 2023 to 5.7 percent.

Even if China's economy in 2023 only reaches the World Bank's forecast of 4.3 percent, based on its forecast of 1.7-percent growth for the global economy, China's economic contribution to the world's growth may still reach 50 percent, Tian said.

Global Times