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China’s Big Cities Target Slower Growth in 2017

January 15, 2017

General Views Of Chongqing, China's Fastest Growing RegionGeneral Views Of Chongqing, China's Fastest Growing Region
A man walks along a viewing platform in front of residential buildings in Chongqing, China, on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The municipality of 30 million people's state-led development approach fueled growth of 11 percent last year, the fastest pace nationwide, with President Xi Jinping praising policy innovations that have included subsidized housing and relaxed residency rules that encourage labor mobility. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

Economic growth in some of China’s largest cities is expected to have slowed in 2016 and will continue to decelerate in 2017, according to official estimates issued on Sunday.

The southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, which has been the fastest-growing major city in recent years with expansion rates of more than 10% annually, will target growth of around 10% in 2017, compared with a preliminary figure of 10.7% for 2016, the city’s government said on its official microblog on Sunday.

In Shanghai, the country’s financial center, authorities will target growth of around 6.5% this year, easing from an estimated 6.7% in 2016, the official People’s Daily reported on Sunday citing the city’s government.

The world’s second-largest economy likely grew by around 6.7% last year—roughly in the middle of the government’s target range—but it faces increasing uncertainties in 2017, the head of China’s state planning agency said on Jan. 10.

China’s leaders are likely to accept growth this year of around 6.5%, policy insiders say.

Despite the relatively robust figures for major cities, slowing growth in provinces and regions that are home to heavy industry is likely to have weighted on China’s economy last year.

Some “rustbelt” provinces reported weak or no growth during 2016, due largely to government efforts to restructure the economy from a dependence on manufacturing and exports to one powered more by domestic consumption.

The capital Beijing probably saw economic growth of around 6.7% in 2016, and targets expansion of about 6.5% this year, according to the Beijing Daily newspaper.

Growth in the neighboring port city of Tianjin probably eased to around 9% last year, from 9.3% the previous year, and it will target an 8% expansion this year, according to the People’s Daily.

China’s statistics bureau is due to release nationwide gross domestic product data for 2016 on Jan. 20.