China omits GDP goal, pledges higher spending

BEIJING: China refrained from setting a 2020 gross domestic product growth target and pledged to step up spending and financing to support its economy, according to Premier Li Keqiang’s work report released on Friday (May 22) at the start of the annual parliament meeting.

It marked the first time that China did not set a GDP goal since 1990 when the government started to publish such targets.

The Chinese economy contracted 6.8 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, shrinking for the first time in decades, as the COVID-19 outbreak paralysed production and hit spending.

China’s top leaders have promised to step up policy stimulus to bolster the virus-ravaged economy amid rising worries that job losses could threaten social stability.