China’s economy is expected to grow at its slowest pace in 24 years. Premier Li Keqiang made the announcement at the National People’s Congress, which is underway now in Beijing. He said the growth target for 2015 will be “around” 7 percent, down from the “around” 7.5 percent target in 2014. Li missed that target by a hair, coming in at 7.4 percent.
China is facing a number of economic challenges as it tries to re-balance the economy from export-driven growth to more consumption. China’s growth in recent years has been fueled by a credit boom, which has resulted in high levels of debt.
It was also announced that the country is scaling back its export growth target to 6 percent from 7.5 percent last year. The country hasn’t had much luck hitting the target though, as growth last year was only 4.9 percent, the third straight year it came up short.
China is still expected to create 10 million new jobs this year and keep unemployment below 4.5 percent. Consumer price inflation is also expected to increase by only 3 percent this year.