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China Eases Fiscal Stance to Meet Slower 2016 Growth Target

  • Leaders vow to speed up disposal of unproductive state assets
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A woman uses a smartphone as she walks a cross a pedestrian footbridge in front of cranes operating at a residential buildings construction site in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Obscured by the focus on the accuracy of China's growth figures is a tumble in estimates for the economy without adjusting for inflation -- a slide that gives a clearer picture of why the country's slowdown has stoked rising concern about its debt burden.
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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China unveiled a record fiscal deficit and pledged to accelerate the restructuring of its bloated state-owned industries while still setting a weaker growth target for this year.

Premier Li Keqiang announced a 6.5 percent to 7 percent expansion goal Saturday, down from an objective of about 7 percent last year and the first range the government has offered since 1995. The government also abandoned its trade target, underscoring the degree of uncertainty about prospects for global growth. The details were given in Li’s work report at the annual meeting of the ceremonial legislature in Beijing.