China omitted a 2020 economic growth target for the first time and pledged government support for the economy on Friday, launching the country’s annual parliament meeting.
This is the first time that China has not set a target for gross domestic product (GDP) since the government began publishing such goals in 1990.
The world’s second-biggest economy fell 6.8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, shrinking for the first time in decades, as the outbreak of the coronavirus, which started in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
China’s top leaders have promised to step up stimulus to bolster the virus-ravaged economy amid rising worries that job losses could threaten social stability.
They’re targeting a 2020 budget deficit of at least 3.6% of GDP, above last year’s 2.8%, and fixed the quota on local-government special bond issuance at 3.75 trillion yuan ($527 billion), up from 2.15 trillion yuan.
China will also issue 1 trillion yuan in special treasury bonds for the first time this year.China has front-loaded a quota of 2.29 trillion yuan in local government special bonds in 2020. Local governments have also issued 1.2 trillion yuan in special bonds in the first four months.