Shanghai. China's financial center expects to see the lowest economic growth rate in the country this year, at 7.5%. (File photo/Xinhua)
Mainland China's 31 province-level regions have announced their annual GDP and investment targets, with 24 targeting GDP growth of 10% or above.
Guizhou province in the southwest, one of the country's least developed regions, has set the highest targets for GDP growth, fixed asset investment, CPI and sales of retail goods this year. Its GDP target of 14% is greater than Shaanxi with 12.5% and nine other regions hoping for 12% growth. Five regions are targeting 11% GDP growth, while eight are predicting 10% and two are aiming for 9.5%. Hebei has set a 9% target while Zhejiang, Beijing and Guangdong, three regions which more developed, have set targets of 8%. Shanghai's target is the lowest at 7.5%, according to the financial news website China Economic Net.
Twenty of the 31 provinces and regions plan to see their fixed asset investment increase by more than 20%. Four — Xinjiang, Gansu, Guizhou and Heilongjiang — have set targets of over 30%. Beijing is the only province-level region where the fixed assets investment target is below 10%. The figures suggest most regions are still relying heavily on investment to spur economic growth, which may hamper the restructuring of the local economy and prove unsustainable in the longer term.
Most regions aim to control inflation at around 3.5%, while a few have set a limit of 4%. The southern island province of Hainan is the only place to set a 5% limit. The average CPI last year was around 3%, the lowest level for the past three years. However, the CPI index in January this year increased 1% from December and 2% from the same period last year, according to China Economic Net.