(Bloomberg) -- China’s top leadership has pledged to meet economic targets for the year, avoid risks and maintain social stability, underscoring concern for a recovery hampered by a prolonged property crisis and deflation.

The Communist Party’s 24-member Politburo met on Thursday to discuss a government work report that will be submitted to a gathering of lawmakers next week, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The report will be delivered by Premier Li Qiang and voted on during the annual session of National People’s Congress starting March 5. 

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The Politburo meeting hosted by President Xi Jinping reiterated that “prudent monetary policy will be flexible, appropriate, targeted and effective,” while “proactive fiscal policy will be appropriately strengthened and improved in quality and efficiency,” echoing instructions from a key economic work conference held in December.

“In terms of the general policy expectation, the tone has already been set by the Central Economic Work Conference in December,” JPMorgan Senior China Economist Grace Ng said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday.

Ng said the government is likely to keep the growth target unchanged at 5%, but it would be “somewhat challenging” to meet the goal as last year’s expansion had a low base of comparison with 2022, when the economy was disrupted by the pandemic. “Therefore we do need to see a supportive growth policy for this year,” she said.

The Politburo also pledged to speed up development of “new productive forces,” a vague new slogan favored by Xi that refers to fresh engines of economic growth.

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(Updates with Grace Ng comments from fourth paragraph)

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