China to step up fiscal spending this year to support economy

China to step up fiscal spending this year to support economy

China to step up fiscal spending this year to support economy

Written by Reuters

23 Jan, 2019 | 11:21 am

Reuters – China will step up fiscal spending this year to support its economy, focusing on further cuts in taxes and fees for small firms, finance ministry officials told journalists at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday (January 23).

China will “appropriately” step up fiscal spending in 2019, said ministry official Hao Lei whilst fiscal revenue growth is expected to slow this year, said Li Dawei another official at the finance ministry. China’s fiscal spending rose 8.7 percent to 22.1 trillion yuan ($3.3 trillion) in 2018, while revenue increased 6.2 percent to 18.3 trillion yuan, said Li.

Mounting pressure on the world’s second-biggest economy pushed growth last year to its lowest since 1990 even as Beijing stepped up stimulus measures and spurred banks to lend more.

The slowdown in China has also raised concerns of rising indebtedness of local governments as they ramp up measures to support growth. China will be more strict in curbing local government bond risks and any form of hidden debt, Hao said. Outstanding local government debt stood at 18.39 trillion yuan at the end of 2018, Hao said, adding that local government debt risks remain manageable overall.

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