Economic Watch

Finance minister downplays GDP target

Updated: 2014-03-06 12:34

Finance minister downplays GDP target

China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei answers questions during a press conference in Beijing, March 6, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]


BEIJING - China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei on Thursday called for more comprehensive understanding on the country's growth target this year instead of merely fixating on the 7.5-percent figure.

GDP growth, inflation and employment are all key factors that should be taken into consideration when assessing economic conditions, Lou stressed at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

Premier Li Keqiang announced on Wednesday the country will target an unchanged 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2014, while vowing to keep inflation at around 3.5 percent and create 10 million more urban jobs to ensure the registered urban unemployment rate does not rise above 4.6 percent.

Noting that the report used "around" for those targets, Lou said that a growth of 7.3 percent or 7.2 percent can still be counted within that range.

"Whether the final reading is at a touch more or less than the 7.5 percent target is not that important. Employment is the key," he added.

Lou said the country's ongoing tax reforms in the service industry will help boost jobs in the sector, which has contributed a substantial part of jobs created last year.

The trial of replacing business tax with value-added tax will be expanded to railway, post and telecom services this year, according to the government work report.