Chinese GDP is Expected Around 6.5% in 2018
The Chinese government expects that the country's economic growth will be about 6.5% this year. Last year, the economy grew by 6.9% and exceeded the government targets. Economists suggest that the world's second-largest economy will lose some momentum this year, as the government will strengthen its push to curb the build-up of corporate debt, while the war on pollution and the cooling real estate market affect its producers.
Inflation is planned to be restrained at around 3%. At the same time, unemployment is expected to rise: it can reach 4.5%. The unemployment rate in the country fell to 3.9% in 2017, to the lowest level since 2002. China plans to allocate 537.6 billion yuan ($85 billion) from the state budget for economic development, which is 30 billion yuan ($5 billion) more than last year.
Premier Li Keqiang, speaking at the 1st session of the National People's Congress, announced the determination of Beijing to control the growth of debts in the economy, to continue reforming the public sector and policies to expand access of foreign capital to the country, and to reduce surplus capacity in a number of industries, before only in the steel sector. The prime minister assured that the exchange rate of the national currency of China will be maintained in general at a stable level.
Last week, Donald Trump said he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to protect US producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China and sparking fears of a global trade war. Li Keqiang also said that China opposes the growing protectionism in foreign trade and called for resolving all the contradictions in the process of implementing trade relations through negotiations and consultations. At the same time, the prime minister stressed that China will "resolutely defend" its legitimate rights and interests.