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China’s top leadership meets as country set to record lowest full-year growth in 24 years

China’s top leadership meets as country set to record lowest full-year growth in 24 years

BEIJING: China’s top leadership will meet on Tuesday for an annual gathering to map out economic and reform plans for the following year, and some influential advisers to the government are recommending it cuts its 2015 growth target to seven percent.

China looks set to miss its growth target this year for the first time since 1999, and full-year growth is likely to be the weakest in 24 years. The government last cut its annual growth target in 2012, to 7.5 percent from eight percent that it had kept for eight years.

Sources said government-run think-tanks, which are influential in the decision-making process but do not wield power themselves, are planning to recommend Beijing reduce its official GDP growth target in 2015 to seven percent, down from 7.5 percent this year.

“President Xi (Jinping) has already hinted at the growth target when he said growth of seven percent is the highest in the world,” said a senior economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), who declined to be identified.