China’s economic growth target for 2012 is projected at 7.5 percent, which is lower than the longstanding goal of 8 percent annual growth.
The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao announced the cut in the growth target at a speech earlier today at China’s annual parliamentary session. Wen explained the move was in an effort to defuse price pressures focus more on economic rebalancing as the government carries out promised economic and welfare reforms.
“We aim to promote steady and robust economic development, keep prices stable, and guard against financial risks by keeping the total money and credit supply at an appropriate level, and taking a cautious and flexible approach,” Wen said.
If growth comes in at the 7.5 percent it would be lowest since 1990. China could be headed for its slowest full-year of growth since Premier Wen and President Hu Jintao took office a decade ago. The economy ended 2011 with its slackest quarter of growth in 2-1/2-years at 8.9 percent.
Asian stocks fell the most in two weeks after the announcement. China’s currency, the yuan touched a four-week low and the Japanese yen gained on safe haven demand.