Shanghai  Photo: iStock
Shanghai Photo: iStock

China’s leaders are leaning towards adopting an economic growth target for 2018 close to the 6.5% goal set for this year, policy sources have told Reuters.

The State Council Information Office said Monday that economic targets will be set “after earnestly studying new performance, new situations and new problems.” The statement, released in response to a request from Reuters, added that “China’s economic and social development still faces many contradictions and challenges that need to be seriously resolved and dealt with.”

GDP, inflation, budget deficit and money supply targets are likely to be set during an economic work meeting to be held this month, but may not be announced publicly until the spring.

China’s decision to continue to use growth targets comes despite an ongoing effort to reign in excessive leverage, as well as the urging of the IMF and some economists that China do away with the practice. Many argue that maintaining growth targets will only encourage continued reliance on debt-fueled stimulus.