The report came as the ruling Communist party issued guidelines for the next five-year plan for the world’s second-largest economy, whose slowing growth has alarmed investors worldwide.
The first documents released by the leadership conclave did not include a numerical growth target.
But Xinhua cited Xi as saying that annual growth should be no less than 6.5 percent in the next five years to achieve the Communist Party’s aim of doubling GDP per capita from 2010 by the end of the decade.
It said he made the remarks in a speech, without giving direct quotes.
The doubling target is part of achieving what China’s ruling party calls a “moderately prosperous society” in time for the 100th anniversary of its foundation.
The comments are the clearest indication yet that Beijing will reduce its target growth rate from the current “around seven percent”, after expansion slowed last quarter to its lowest in six years.
Some economists say that the current figure is unattainable going forwards, and that trying to do so risks derailing painful but necessary markets reforms.
The country has faced economic turbulence in recent months as it attempts to transition its economy from years of super-charged growth to a more modest pace it has dubbed the “new normal”.
Botched stock market interventions and a sudden currency devaluation have rattled confidence in the country’s leadership, which has staked its legitimacy on maintaining an aura of economic infallibility.