China will lower its 2017 economic growth target to around 6.5 percent from last year's 6.5-7 percent. Graham Mackay reports.
China's economic growth target - edging down in 2017. Six and a half percent is the new number Beijing is aiming for. That figure won't be officially announced until March, but it comes from several Reuters sources close to the meeting where the latest GDP target was set. The world's number two economy likely grew at around 6-point-7 percent last year, roughly in the middle of the the government's percent target range. But there are new uncertainties in the coming year, like the country's ballooning levels of debt. Although the official numbers aren't out yet, 2016's GDP was almost definitely the slowest in more than 25 years. A declining growth rate may now be inevitable after years of break-neck development in the 90s and 2000s, the question is: how low is Beijing prepared to go with future targets? Six and a half percent is already the bare minimum for achieving Chinas economic goals by 2020.