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Top economic planner bullish on reaching annual growth target

By Ouyang Shijia | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-04-18 14:04
Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission, speaks at a press conference held in Beijing on April 18, 2019. [Photo by Ouyang Shijia/chinadaily.com.cn]

China's economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in the first quarter of 2019, and the country has the confidence to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the country's top economic planner.

"The first quarter's stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for the annual growth," said Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

"The economy has stayed on the track of steady growth. We have the confidence, conditions and capability to meet the projected targets for economic and social development this year."

Yuan made the remarks at the NDRC press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter in 2018.

Last month, China has set its GDP growth target for this year at a range of 6 to 6.5 percent, according to the 2019 Government Work Report.

A further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in the first quarter, and the surveyed unemployment rate remained at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in March. Consumer price registered a moderate rise by 1.8 percent in the first three months this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was maintained, and China's foreign exchange reserves remain more than $3 trillion.

Economic structure further improved during the same period. Value-added high-tech sector's output rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country's value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, NDRC has approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly in the fields of energy, transportation and high-tech sectors. The total investment hit 370.3 billion yuan ($55.3 billion).

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