Shanghai has become the first Chinese city to not set a target this year for growth of its gross domestic product as the country continues a major shift toward slower growth and more balanced economic expansion.
GDP figures – at both city and provincial levels -- have been a key measurement for evaluating and promoting governmental officials. Some analysts and academics say this has led to catastrophic pollution, urban sprawl and social discord as ambitious officials push economic expansion by any means necessary.
And the slowdown is expected to continue, with the
Rising government and corporate debt, an aging population and a weakening property market are all factors in the slowdown. Authorities are hoping to bolster domestic consumption, relying less on exports and investment to drive the economy.
Shanghai, China's financial capital, came in at 7% growth last year, lower than its stated goal of 7.5%. That target had been lowered from 8% in 2013.
In his annual work report to the city's legislature on Sunday, Yang said that he aimed to keep unemployment below 4.5% and create 500,000 jobs.
China’s government usually sets the country's economic policy at a meeting of the National People’s