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The Wall Street Journal: Politburo statement indicates Chinese economy will miss 2022 growth target

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Chinese leaders all but acknowledged that the country would miss its annual growth target this year, while signaling that they would stay the course on zero-tolerance COVID-prevention measures and take only cautious steps to support the struggling property market.

China’s Politburo, the Communist Party’s top policy-making body, said in a statement Thursday following its quarterly economic meeting that it would aim to keep the economy running within “a reasonable range” in the second half of the year. It also urged stronger provinces to strive to meet their annual growth targets—an implicit acknowledgment that others would miss their benchmarks.

Few economists expect China to meet its official goal of about 5.5% expansion of gross domestic product this year, especially after Beijing announced second-quarter growth of just 0.4% compared with a year earlier.

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Though the 5.5% target was already China’s lowest in a quarter-century of economic planning, an even slower growth rate would have implications for a battered global economy that has come to rely on China in recent years as a vast market and a key link in supply chains.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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