hinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered the government’s 2021 work report during China’s main annual legislative meetings, the two sessions, which concluded in early March. He revealed that the government has set a national GDP growth rate for 2021 of 6 percent or above.
The target is based on China’s rapid economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic, China’s annual GDP grew by 2.3 percent in 2020, the only country in the world to see positive growth that year.
The recovery quickened in 2021. Data shows that the value-added of industrial enterprises with an annual revenue of 20 million yuan (US$2.9m) or above grew by 35.1 percent in January and February, 16.9 percent more than in the same period of 2019, and total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 33.8 percent, a 6.4 percent growth year-on-year. Compared to the 2019 data, China’s imports and exports in the first two months increased by 32.2 percent, calculated in yuan, with exports by 50.1 percent and imports by 14.5 percent.
Considering the relatively low base number in 2020 due to the pandemic, experts believe the 6 percent GDP target is reasonable for China to continue stable economic growth.