Stimulating consumption atop agenda

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, September 20, 2022
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A customer picks commodities at a supermarket in Congtai district, Handan city, Hebei province, on Aug 10, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is making all-out efforts to implement a series of stimulus packages and follow-up measures to bolster the economy, the country's top economic regulator said on Monday.

Meng Wei, a spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Commission, said the foundation for economic recovery is still not solid, and the nation is currently at a critical juncture in pursuit of an economic rebound.

Meng said at a news conference in Beijing on Monday that China will make a big push to expand effective investment, spur consumption and ease enterprises' burdens.

Notably, China will speed up the implementation of key projects supported by the 300 billion yuan ($42.75 billion) policy bank bonds announced in mid-2022 and promote the use of the new 300 billion yuan quota in policy bank financing announced recently for infrastructure spending, she added.

The spokeswoman said the nation is planning to introduce new policy measures to promote consumption recovery and bolster the healthy development of private business.

Meng's remarks came after the State Council, the country's Cabinet, recently announced 19 follow-up measures to the policy package for stabilizing the economy, including a new quota of 300 billion yuan in policy-backed and developmental financial tools. These come on top of a package of 33 measures unveiled in May.

Experts said the government has introduced a series of policy measures since mid-2022 amid pressure and difficulty from shrinking demand, weakening expectations, renewed COVID-19 outbreaks and troubles in the property sector, which will help accelerate the recovery of domestic demand and speed up the implementation of key projects in the following months.

Ming Ming, chief economist at Citic Securities, said the strength of China's stimulus policy measures so far this year has approached that of 2020, saying the government may introduce new incremental policies at the end of this year.

China's economy performed better than expected in August with an improvement in key indicators of industrial production, consumption and investment.

Growth in China's value-added industrial output and retail sales accelerated to 4.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively, in August from a year earlier, higher than the July figures, said the National Bureau of Statistics.

Zhou Maohua, an analyst at China Everbright Bank, said the improvement came as China has introduced a series of supportive policies to stabilize growth.

Zhou warned that recovery in domestic demand still lags behind recovery in production, and called for steps to continuously expand effective demand and fully implement existing stimulus policies.

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