By Zhao Changwen, Research Institute of Industrial Economy & Zhu Hongming, Research Institute of Finance, DRC
Research Report No.161, 2016 (Total5044) 2016-12-1
Abstract: There are a lot of controversies about the current growth target. The core of the argument is focused on whether the target should be set at a high level while striving for an average one or the target should be set at an appropriate level while allowing for unforeseen circumstances. The report argues that, taking into account the international and domestic uncertainties and the facts that the Central Government is concentrating all its efforts on structural adjustment and local governments are inclined to impose targets at every level, it is necessary to allow for unforeseen circumstances in making targets and this has been proved practical by past experience. Based on the analysis of the growth targets set since reform and opening up as well as the set growth, the actual growth, and the growth in the previous year, it is found that there are three empirical characteristics of setting the growth target. 1. The set growth is usually lower than the actual growth. 2. The set growth is usually lower than the actual growth in the previous year. 3. The set growth can be lower than the necessary growth implied in the mid-to-long term growth targets. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, it is necessary to properly handle the relationship between steady growth, structural adjustment, reform promotion and risk prevention, and leave adequate leeway when setting the growth target, which can be lower than the actual growth in the previous year. The growth in some years can be lower than the necessary growth of 6.5%, but work needs to be done in terms of relevant explanations to the public.
Key words: necessary growth, growth targets, the actual growth, allow for unforeseen circumstances when setting growth targets