China’s economic growth must not slip below the “bottom line” of seven percent, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying by a state-backed newspaper on Tuesday.
“The bottom line for economic growth is seven percent, and this bottom line must not be crossed,” Li told a meeting earlier this month, the Beijing News reported.
The target was necessary to ensure China achieved its goal of doubling its gross domestic product between 2010 and 2020, he told economic experts and business representatives.
China has risen to become the world’s second-largest economy in recent years, but concerns have been raised over growth, which is vital to the ruling Communist party’s delivery of promised prosperity.
The economy expanded 7.5% year-on-year in the April-June period this year, slowing from 7.7% in the first quarter and 7.9% in the last three months of 2012.
The government has set a full-year growth target of 7.5% for 2013.
An official government statement previously quoted Li as telling a meeting on July 16 that the economy must be kept within “a reasonable range”.
He said the “lower limit” was to stabilise economic growth and maintain employment while the “upper limit” was to prevent inflation, according to the statement on the government’s official website.
Hong Kong and China shares led gains on Tuesday, lifted by reports about the premier’s comments, with mainland markets further buoyed by a reported delay in resuming new A-share listings.
Railway and construction material counters jumped as volumes spiked after official statements indicated investments in the sector to help ancillaries such as cement and steel.