Comparing 20+ Years of Government Work Reports
Things make more sense when put into historical context
Last Sunday, premier Li Keqiang delivered his last government work report. As we correctly predicted, the final GDP growth target was set cautiously as "around 5%". For full text and highlights of the report in English, please check out this fascinating post by our good friends at Ginger River Review. (As far as we know, they are the first team in the entire world to publish this in English.)
What is also fascinating is how this government work report compares with the previous ones. In the table below, you can see how government work reports have developed since 2002 on macro-economic trends such as GDP growth targets, monetary policy and employment targets. Some highlights:
China has been more and more cautious regarding GDP targets, down from the go-go days of 8%. There is an undeniable sense of recognition that the Age of Gold of Chinese economy is gone. In this Age of Silver, more attention will be paid to structural improvements, rather than raw growth rates.
Monetary policies have stabilized across two decades. Back in the early 2000s, monetary policy vacillated from such dramatic languages as controlling "excessive bank liquidity" to "comprehensive use of policy tools” in order to boost liquidity. Instead, there have been repeated use of more innocuous expressions such as "prudent monetary policy" and "reasonably ample liquidity". This shows that the Chinese government has no appetite for big liquidity boost despite a slowing economy, unlike many western governments.
Unemployment targets have also risen consistently from the level of ~4.5% to 5.5% of today, showcasing the pressure the government is facing. To tackle that, the government seeks to add 12 million new urban jobs this year, the highest on record, showing the government is quite serious about the job situation.
Please check the table below for details. (Please note that this comparison only focuses on macro-economics. What other topics do you like to perform similar analysis on? Subscribe and let us know!)