China will meet economic growth goal this year: vice premier

Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli delivers his remarks during the signing ceremony on climate change held at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s economy faces downward pressure but will be able to meet its economic growth target for the year, China’s vice premier Zhang Gaoli said at a forum in Beijing on Wednesday.

Growth in M2 money supply slowed in April versus March, Zhang said at a meeting on tax administration hosted by the OECD. M2 money supply grew 13.4 percent in March.

China has set a target for 6.5 percent to 7 percent GDP growth in 2016, after growth fell to a 25-year low of 6.9 percent in 2015.

Zhang said that China will reduce leverage in the economy through efforts including bankruptcies, and is not resorting to large-scale stimulus.

The global economic recovery is weak and faces uncertainties, but the Chinese economy remains resilient, Zhang said.

Zhang’s comments come as expectations for further monetary stimulus fade after record credit growth in the first quarter of the year boosted economic indicators in March, though April data so far indicates the rebound may be short-lived.

Chinese markets fell after a commentary in the official People’s Daily on Monday said there is no need to stimulate growth by excessive credit expansion that could heighten risks and trigger a systemic financial crisis if not controlled properly.

Reporting by Kevin Yao; Writing by Elias Glenn; Editing by Jacqueline Wong