Social Navigation

China’s malaise | Mint


At the annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, Premier Li Keqiang announced a growth target of 5% of gross domestic product for 2023. This is the lowest in many decades and slightly below the 6% figure many observers were expecting. More than a strong recovery, it was the modest 3% growth in 2022 that had propelled the economy towards a statistical spring. It is possible that Beijing is trying to be conservative and hoping to under-promise and over-deliver, especially after the big miss of 2022, which was forecast to grow at 5.5%. Year after year, growth figures appear to be suspiciously close to official forecasts, but last year was a shock to China. A Chinese economy that was already experiencing a real estate crisis and slowing was rocked by zero-covid lockdowns, supply disruptions and an export decline that would have been too large to put on paper. The last prediction is perhaps more of an exercise in image management than statistical calculations. Through political rhetoric, Beijing has assured people of “common prosperity”. A loss of economic momentum could make that sound hollow.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.