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New stimulus measures by China to boost economic growth | Beijing Bulletin

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New stimulus measures by China to boost economic growth | Beijing Bulletin

Volume 20140714

 

New stimulus measures by China to boost economic growth

Beijing Bulletin Thursday 12th June, 2014

• These include plans to build railways, roads and airports along the Yangtze River - which connects China's less developed inland provinces to Shanghai.

• China has been taking various steps in the last few weeks to boost economic growth amid fears the country could be heading for a slowdown in the coming months.

• The nation's economy grew by 7.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year, which was down from the figure of 7.7 per cent recorded between January and March 2013.

BEIJING - China, the world's second largest economy, has announced measures designed to boost its economy, including a wide range of ambitious infrastructure projects.

These include plans to build railways, roads and airports along the Yangtze River - which connects China's less developed inland provinces to Shanghai.

China's central bank said it will encourage banks to lend more to exporters to boost shipments.

China has been taking various steps in the last few weeks to boost economic growth amid fears the country could be heading for a slowdown in the coming months.

The nation's economy grew by 7.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year, which was down from the figure of 7.7 per cent recorded between January and March 2013.

In a statement released Wednesday, the State Council said that the decision to build a multi-tier transport system alongside the Yangtze River is set to create a new economic belt along the river.

According to the state-owned Xinhua news agency, the body said: "Better use of the so-called 'golden waterway' can boost economic integration between developed and impoverished regions and inject fresh energy into China's economic growth."

Senior Communist party officials have started to issue public warnings about the potential consequences of the current slowdown.

"Under the macroeconomic situation right now, overcapacity and the rapid build-up of local government debt are the two problems the central authorities are most concerned about," Wang Baoan, vice-minister of finance, said in a speech published by his ministry. "These two issues could lead to a financial crisis."

On Friday, data scheduled for release is expected to show further weakness in industrial production, fixed asset investment, property and retail sales.

The central bank revealed that it is going to encourage banks to lend more money to companies, as this should boost exports and in turn be good news for the country's economy.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has promised to tighten supervision over the shadow banking sector in the country. It said loans will be increased and borrowing costs are to be capped in a move the organisation says will boost the supply of funds to the real economy.

CBRC's vice-president Wang Zhaoxing told a news conference that it would work towards improving deposit-to-loan ratios.

Other infrastructure projects announced by the Chinese government include improvements to the navigation capacity of the Three Gorges Dam, while standardised ships are going to be adapted for the Yangtze as this will encourage the development of energy-saving vessels.

In an attempt to sustain a high growth rate, and to rebalance its economy, China has been looking to boost domestic consumption.

However, there have been concerns that as China tries to move away from an export-led growth model, growth may slow down further, said BBC.

Data released earlier this month showed that China's imports declined 1.6 percent in May, from a year earlier, underlining fears that domestic demand may not be picking up as fast as policymakers had hoped.

At the same time, China's exports have also been under pressure in recent months.

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