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Labourers eat their meals inside a subway tunnel under construction in Wuhan, Hubei province in March, 2012. Beijing is poised to increase infrastructure spending.
Labourers eat their meals inside a subway tunnel under construction in Wuhan, Hubei province in March, 2012. Beijing is poised to increase infrastructure spending.
(Darley Shen/Reuters)

China moves the economic goalposts

China’s manufacturing activity has been contracting since January, a miserable trend highlighted by today’s purchasing managers’ index figure. Against this nerve-wracking backdrop, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei did something that was once unthinkable for a senior official.

Earlier this month, Mr. Lou declared that the economy did not necessarily have to meet the government’s growth target for this year of 7.5 per cent, provided it creates enough jobs. He even provided the number: 11 million.