China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei on Thursday called for more comprehensive understanding on the country's growth target this year instead of merely fixating on the 7.5-percent figure, state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported.
"Gross domestic product (GDP), growth, inflation and employment are all key factors that should be taken into consideration when assessing economic conditions," Lou stressed at a press conference in Beijing on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. Premier Li Keqiang announced on Wednesday the world's second-biggest economy will target an unchanged 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2014, while vowing to keep inflation at around 3.5 percent and create 10 million more urban jobs to ensure the registered urban unemployment rate does not rise above 4.6 percent. "Whether the final reading is at a touch more or less than the 7.5 percent target is not that important. Employment is the key," Lou said, adding that the country's ongoing tax reforms in the service industry will help boost jobs in the sector, which has contributed a substantial part of jobs created last year.
China's economy expanded 7.7 percent last year, well above the government goal, but a set of data that pointed to softening manufacturing activity in recent months renewed concerns on the growth outlook of the Chinese economy.