The Chinese government on Friday announced that it aims for an annual GDP growth of more than 6 percent in 2021. Premier Li Keqiang said during the opening remarks at the annual National People's Congress that China was looking to promote the growth of its trade relationship with the United States.
According to official yet preliminary data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the Chinese economy grew by 2.3 percent in 2020. While this is the lowest annual result since modern Chinese GDP records began in the 1970s, China is the only major world economy to have posted positive annual GDP growth in the 2020 crisis year.
The new goal is in the vicinity of China's 2019 GDP growth. The figure was received rather negatively then, having been the lowest since 1990, the year after the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Lackluster domestic demand paired with the cooling effects of the trade war with the United States had contributed to the 2019 slowdown, continuing a downward trend that has been going on for several years. The Chinese government deployed a 1.3 trillion yuan ($193 billion) stimulus package to bolster the economy, a measure that helped the country meet its target of at least maintaining 6 to 6.5 percent growth in 2019. As U.S. tariffs persist, familiar problems are staying with the Chinese as their economy enters 2021, potentially contributing to a more realistic growth outlook.
China’s economy is closely watched internationally, as many international corporations consider it a key market in reaching their own growth targets. As our chart illustrates, the Chinese GDP saw double-digit growth for large parts of the first decade in the new millennium until a wider slowdown set in around 2010.