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Officials confident about government goals for 2016

Updated: Mar 10,2016 5:18 PM

Officials have refuted doubts about the 6.5-7 percent GDP growth rate for this year, which was set in the government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the convening NPC session, and the prospect of the Chinese economy in 2016.

Zhu Guangyao, vice-minister of finance, said the GDP goal represents the actual conditions of the market economy.

Yang Jie, a senior official at the National Development and Reform Commission’s policy research office, said the goal for this year has both top and bottom limits, which not only truly reflects the growth potential and market expectation, but also provides flexibility for government work.

Last year, China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, increased 1.4 percent, while the producer price index (PPI), which measures wholesale inflation, dropped 5.2 percent.

Yang said the slow CPI increase does not mean the Chinese economy has slipped into deflation, as this rate is still higher than in many developed economies such as the United States.

He expected that CPI growth for this year would reach 3 percent, with stable price growth in foods and services.

Moreover, Yang said the government will release a plan this year to resettle 100 million rural people in urban areas, as China’s development potential and energy lie in urbanization. He added that China will also take measures to narrow urban-rural gaps.

This year, China will continue to eliminate excessive industrial capacity based on rigorous standards on environmental protection, energy consumption and safety, Yang said.

In addition, the government will enhance efforts on poverty alleviation, especially in old revolutionary areas and remote areas inhabited by ethnic groups, with a focus on providing water, power and the Internet.