So far 23 Chinese provinces have lowered their economic growth targets for this year, up from 17 last year, reflecting the darkening mood over China’s medium-term economic outlook, Reuters reports.
Just five of China’s 31 provinces – Sichuan, Hebei, Guizhou, Gansu and Hainan – have maintained last year’s targets, compared with 12 in 2018. Hubei is the only province to raise its target, as it benefits from a sweep of investment in high-tech manufacturing.
“The new provincial targets reflect the challenges faced by China. Export-driven coastal areas are facing the risk of lower growth amid uncertainty from the US-China trade war,” China economist Tommy Xie at OCBC bank told Reuters.
China grew at its lowest annual rate in almost three decades last year, slowing to 6.6%. The official 2019 target is expected to fall between 6 and 6.5% when announced during the national meetings in March.