China should set 2023 economic growth target no lower than 5% - central bank adviser

FILE PHOTO: Paramilitary police officers stand guard in front of the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, the central bank (PBOC), in Beijing, China September 30, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) - China should set its economic growth target no lower than 5% for 2023, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to its central bank, said on Friday.

The world’s second largest economy grew just 3% in the first three quarters of this year, well below the annual target of around 5.5%. Full-year growth is widely expected by analysts to be just over 3%.

“Currently, it’s pressing for China’s economic growth to return to a normal track or a reasonable range,” Liu, who advises the People’s Bank of China, said at the Caixin Summit.

Economic growth could pick in the first half of next year, if China is able to shake off the impact of COVID-19, take steps to stabilise growth and shore up expectations and confidence, Liu added.

Chinese government advisers say they will recommend modest economic growth targets for 2023, ranging from 4.5% to 5.5%, representing a pickup from this year’s growth, but still hobbled by COVID-19 and other challenges.

Chinese leaders will chart the course for the economy at a key closed-door conference in December, individuals involved in government policy discussions have said.

Reporting by Ellen Zhang and Kevin Yao; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Clarence Fernandez