China’s 2014 economic targets

During two government sessions, China’s top leaders laid out a number of specific economic targets for the country to achieve in 2014.

Beginning with Premier Li Keqiang and his Government Work Report, he says the country will pursue GDP growth of about 7.5 percent and an inflation rate of 3.5 percent in 2014.

The current administration says it needs to create at least 10 million new jobs in order to keep the unemployment rate below 4.6 percent.

The government deficit should remain at 2.1 percent of China’s GDP, which translates to 1.35 trillion yuan.

Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan spoke for the first time about a specific time table for interest rate reforms. Zhou says deposit rates will be “marketized within one or two years.” That will be the “last step of interest rate liberalization,” since many other interest rates have already been marketized.

The chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, Shang Fulin, says China will establish five private banks as part of its banking reform trials. Shang said the CBRC “will take a joint-founder approach” to the trial private banks. That is to say, “each bank will have to be initiated by no fewer than two companies.”

Finance Minister Lou Jiwei says tax reform will be a top task for his ministry this year. The ministry will “push for the legislation of environmental taxes and a property tax.” Source: CCTV