China sets GDP growth target at 5.5% Updated: 2022-03-05

China will focus on stabilizing its economic fundamentals this year, setting its GDP growth target at around 5.5 percent, Premier Li Keqiang said on Saturday, as the world's second-largest economy beefs up supportive measures to shore up growth against possible strong headwinds.

In the Government Work Report delivered at the opening of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress, Li said the nation will strive to create at least 11 million jobs in the urban areas and maintain surveyed urban unemployment rate at below 5.5 percent.

Li said the government has set the deficit-to-GDP ratio for 2022 at around 2.8 percent in a move to boost fiscal sustainability, while the special-purpose bonds for local government will total 3.65 trillion yuan ($1 trillion).

He pledged to step up implementation of the prudent monetary policy, saying the government will expand the scale of new loans and keep the macro leverage level generally stable.

The exchange rate of the yuan will be maintained generally stable at an adaptive, balanced level, he added.

The premier announced a new package of tax refunds and cuts totaling 2.5 trillion yuan this year to support enterprises, including a temporary exemption on value-added tax payments to small taxpayers and an additional measure to halve the cooperate income tax for micro and small businesses with an annual taxable income of 1 million to 3 million yuan.

With over 10 million college graduates expected to enter the job market this year, Li said the government will provide them with stronger policy support and uninterrupted services to ensure that they can find jobs or start businesses.

The investment from the central government budget will reach 640 billion yuan this year, and the government will make improving the people's well-being an investment priority, he said.

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