China sets growth target of 7.5% for 2014

Li Keqiang This is Li Keqiang's first appearance as premier at China's annual parliamentary session

Related Stories

China has set its economic growth target for the year at 7.5%, as it looks to continue its efforts to stabilise the economy.

The country also set its inflation goal at 3.5%, aimed at keeping prices in check.

After years of blistering growth rates, China has seen its rate of expansion slide after a slowdown domestically and in key markets.

In 2013, the country grew at a pace of 7.7%, about the same as in 2012.

Recent manufacturing data has also indicated a slowdown in activity in the world's second largest economy.

Start Quote

The next few years could be telling for China”

End Quote

The latest targets were announced by Premier Li Keqiang in his first appearance at China's annual parliamentary session, the National People's Congress (NPC).

China describes the NPC as the country's "supreme organ of state power".

But in practice, it is generally considered a rubber stamping body for the ruling Communist Party.

Property bubble targeted

The growth and inflation targets were widely expected.

"Officially, they are conservative and the figures are basically in line with our expectation," said Paul Tang, chief economist with the Bank of East Asia in Hong Kong.

"Slower economic growth is already expected for this year. Tightening of fixed-asset investment and lending are seen to remain as the major focuses."

Premier Li said the government would work towards increasing personal incomes, and also promised to address the property market.

Property purchases have been a popular investment choice in China - a trend that kept prices rising in 2013 and raised fears of a property bubble.

China's central bank acted late last year by tightening monetary conditions and reining in excessive lending growth.

The meeting of around 3,000 legislators from delegations across China is set to run for 10 days.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    INFLATION 09:19:

    We await UK August inflation numbers due at 09:30. In July Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.6% from 1.9% a month earlier. However average wage growth was just 0.6% in the three months to June.

     
  2.  
    PHONES 4U COLLAPSE 09:11: Radio 5 live

    Phones 4U founder John Caudwell is back this time on Radio 5 live. He says that Phones 4U would never have pushed the network operators so hard in negotiations that they would have been forced to walk away. It would have made no sense to have alienated their only suppliers, he argues. But he concedes that he doesn't know the facts of the matter.

     
  3.  
    HIGH STREET VACANCIES 09:00:
    Charity shops

    Overall high street vacancy rates have fallen in the first-half of the year, according to The Local Data Company (LDC). On Radio 5 live Matthew Hopkinson of LDC says there are lots more charity shops, pound shops and also independent retailers. He also says that vacancy rates in the North West are double that of London (16.9% versus 7.8%).

     
  4.  
    ASOS SHARES SLUMP 08:46:

    ASOS shares are almost 13% lower so far this morning. The online fashion retailer warned that profits would not grow in the current financial year. Sales rose 15% in the three months to the end of August, but that was a sharp slowdown from the previous quarter when sales accelerated 25%. ASOS shares are down more than 60% over the last six months.

     
  5.  
    PHONES 4U COLLAPSE 08:30: BBC Radio 4

    The former chief executive of the Office for Fair Trading John Fingleton tells Today it is "highly unlikely that Vodafone and EE colluded to reduce high-street competition by cancelling their contracts with Phones 4 U." Mr Fingleton, who was head of the OFT from 2005 until 2012, says there is "no evidence" of collusion and rejects any call for an investigation into the matter.

     
  6.  
    PHONES 4U COLLAPSE 08:23: BBC Radio 4

    As well as condemning the network firms, Mr Caudwell also dishes out criticism for the BC Partners, the private equity firm that owned Phones 4U. He says it took £200m out of the business. "I don't like the fact they did it because they left the business much more vulnerable but it was manageable," he tells Today.

     
  7.  
    HEADLINES
    • Phones 4U 'assassinated' by networks says Caudwell
    • Calpers withdraws $4bn from hedge funds
    • ASOS shares slump after trading update
     
  8.  
    PHONES 4U COLLAPSE 08:09: BBC Radio 4

    The "ruthless actions" of mobile phone networks were behind the demise of Phones 4U says founder John Caudwell , who sold the business in 2006. It was an "unprecedented assassination" of the company by the networks which had partnered the firm for 20 years he said on the Today programme. The idea the Phones 4U managers "dug their heels in" during negotiations is "preposterous", he says adding "I simply don't believe Vodafone".

     
  9.  
    THOMAS COOK 07:56:
    The logo of travel agency Thomas Coo

    UK holiday operator Thomas Cook says it expects full-year earnings to the end of September will be in the range of £315m to £335m putting it broadly in line with analyst expectations. It added weaker prices, which it first warned about in May, continued but it had offset that impact by speeding up its cost-cutting programme.

     
  10.  
    CALPERS DUMPS HEDGE FUNDS 07:41:

    US pension giant Calpers is withdrawing all of its investments in hedge funds, blaming their expense and complexity. That's a cool $4bn (£2.4bn) leaving 30 hedge funds. Calpers, which stands for the California Public Employee's Retirement System, is the biggest public pension fund in the US.

     
  11.  
    Via Twitter Nick Bubb, retail analyst

    tweets: "Ouch....Q4 sales at ASOS weren't quite as bad as feared (+15%), but ASOS warn that there will be no profit recovery in y/e Aug 2015"

     
  12.  
    MAURICE LEVY 07:30:
    Mauricy Levy

    Maurice Levy, one of the most influential figures in advertising and in France, is to stand down as chairman of advertising giant Publicis in 2016. He is credited with turning Publicis into one of the world's biggest advertising agencies.

     
  13.  
    ASOS TRADING 07:18:
    ASOS

    Asos says that a fire at its Barnsley distribution centre in June resulted in lost sales of between £25m and £30m. But the online fashion retailer expects annual profit to still be in line with market expectations. Total first quarter sales rose 15%.

     
  14.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 07:05: BBC Radio 4
    pound coins

    What will happen to the currency on Friday it Scotland votes in favour of independence? George Godber of the fund manager Miton tells the Today programme that he can see "a very significant fall" in the value of the pound, maybe as much as 10% over about a week. That's because the UK's status as the fastest growing Western economy and a safe haven will be put in jeopardy, he says.

     
  15.  
    RUSSIA GAS 06:49: BBC Radio 4

    Europe could cope if Russia were to interrupt gas supplies in retaliation to European sanctions, says Malcolm Bracken of stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley. Norway can increase oil and gas production and gas reserves are in a pretty healthy shape, he says. Vladimir Putin needs money from the West more than he's letting on so we shouldn't be too worried about the effect of sanctions, says Mr Bracken on Today.

     
  16.  
    BUSINESS RATES 06:43:

    More than 100 of the UK's biggest companies, including Tesco and Marks & Spencer, have called for an overhaul of business rates. In an open letter to the Daily Telegraph they say business rates "are no longer fit for purpose for the 21st century". The tax brings in £25bn for the Treasury annually.

     
  17.  
    OIL PRICES 06:35: BBC Radio 4

    Brent Crude fell below $97 a barrel on Monday for the first time in two and a half years. Malcolm Bracken of stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley explained the fall on the Today programme. "There's been a slowdown in China, cars are becoming more efficient, the war premium is falling, sanctions haven't really had an effect on oil production in Russia and money is tightening," he says.

     
  18.  
    ALIBABA SHARE SALE 06:20: Radio 5 live
    Alibaba head office, Hangzhou

    Alibaba has raised the price range of shares in its US stock market debut and could now raise $25bn (£15.4bn). The funds will allow the Chinese internet company "to make its mark" in the US market place says BBC Business presenter Rico Hizon on Wake Up to Money. Company executives are on an international road show to market the shares. Today there are in Singapore, tomorrow London.

     
  19.  
    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE 06:12: Radio 5 live
    Scottish flag

    The leaders of the three main parties at Westminster have signed a pledge to devolve more powers to Scotland, if Scots reject independence. On Wake Up to Money Colletta Smith, the Economics Correspondent for BBC Scotland says it amounts to an "agreement to make some kind of agreement". Details will have to be worked out after the vote, she says.

     
  20.  
    PHONES 4U COLLAPSE 06:02: Radio 5 live
    Phones 4U

    "I'm not surprised it fell over," says fund manager, George Godber in reference to the failure of Phones 4U over the weekend. On Wake Up to Money Mr Godber says the company did "not have any room for financial manouevre" because its private equity owners had recently loaded it with £250m in debt. Phones 4U founder John Caudwell will be on Radio 5 at around 08:45.

     
  21.  
    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning folks as always you can get in touch with us here at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and on twitter @bbcbusiness.

     
  22.  
    05:59: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Good morning. It's shaping up to be a busy morning with inflation figures due at 09:30 and we'll see what John Caudwell has to say about the demise of the company he founded, Phones 4U. Stay with us.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.