Xinhua has added half a percentage point to the 7% GDP growth for the year finance minister Lou Jiwei talked of at a Washington press conference on Friday after the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue. “There is no doubt that China can achieve this year’s growth target of 7.5%,” the state news agency now reports the minister as having said.
This Bystander can forgive anyone a slip of the tongue. Nor is Lou the first politician to need the services of a clean-up crew. As we noted yesterday 7% is the annual GDP growth target in the current five-year plan, even if 7.5% is the official target for this year. Half a percentage point either way on the GDP growth number does nothing to alter the trickiness of the balancing act the leadership has to pull off in lowering long-term growth expectations for China while making the necessary structural fixes to the economy to prevent years of hyper-rapid credit expansion and of the shadow banking system from bringing growth to a halt with a hard crash.