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Chinese Leaders Say GDP Goal Is Guidance, Not a Hard Target

China’s top leaders told government officials last week that this year’s economic growth target of “around 5.5%” should serve as guidance rather than a hard target that must be hit, according to people familiar with the matter.

Leaders held meetings with ministerial and provincial-level officials last week, during which they were told the target won’t be used to evaluate their performance and there won’t be penalties for failing to achieve it, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The leaders also acknowledged that the chances of meeting the target were slim, the people said.

The meetings came the same week as a key gathering of the Politburo, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body, to discuss the economy. An official statement from that meeting didn’t refer explicitly to the GDP target, only calling for the “best outcome” possible for economic growth while sticking to a strict Covid Zero policy.


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