China advisers recommend lowering 2019 growth target

BEIJING: China should lower next year’s growth target to 6.0-6.5 per cent as headwinds including a trade dispute with the United States increases risks for the economy, according to government advisers’ recommendations to top leaders who will meet to map out the 2019 economic agenda.
This week’s annual Central Economic Work Conference, a closed-door gathering of top party leaders and policymakers, is being watched by investors for any fresh policy steps to ward off a sharper slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
The economic conference is likely to convene on Wednesday, two policy insiders said, a day after an event marking the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up, where President Xi Jinping is due to make what the official Xinhua news agency described as an “important” speech.
The meeting will not result in any public announcement of economic targets.
China’s trade war with the United States is spurring some Chinese entrepreneurs, government advisers and think- tanks to call for faster economic reforms and the freeing up of a private sector stifled by state controls.
Government advisers and think-tanks, which are influential in the decision-making process but aren’t empowered to execute policies, have recommended a growth target of 6.0-6.5 per cent for 2019, versus around 6.5 per cent in 2018. — Reuters