China’s Premier Believes the Country Is Still on Track to Achieve Growth Targets

Premier Li Qiang said on Tuesday that China is on track to achieve its yearly growth target of roughly 5%, despite several major foreign banks having lowered their 2023 GDP growth estimates due to disappointing economic data.

He stated Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin that growth in the second quarter is likely to outpace the first.

First-quarter GDP growth in China exceeded expectations, coming in at 4.5%. Recent data, however, has pointed to growth slowing down. 

As factory output declines due to weak external and domestic demand, Li promised that Beijing will launch more effective policies to expand domestic demand and open markets, and it will continue to be a powerful force in the global economy.

“From what we see this year, China’s economy shows a clear momentum of rebound and improvement,” Li said, via a livestream of an official English translation.

However, following disappointing data for industrial output and retail sales in May, several major banks are now lowering their 2023 GDP growth forecasts for China for the remainder of the year. These figures suggest that Beijing will need to take additional steps to build up a shaky post-COVID recovery, said Li.