China will implement new policies as needed to help the economy

China will implement new policies as needed to help the economy

“We will step up policy adjustments, we will take actions when necessary,” Han said without giving details. China must control COVID in a “scientific, precise and effective” way, to create a vital pre-condition for normal economic operations, Han said.

A top Communist Party official said on Thursday that China will not hesitate to propose new policies to boost growth as the economy suffers from long-term COVID-19 lockdowns. According to Han Wenxiu, deputy chairman of the party’s office for financial and economic affairs, China plans to implement current measures in the first half of the year and is ready to take new ones if the need arises. “We will not spend any time in developing and implementing incremental policies. There is sufficient room for fiscal, monetary policy and other policies, and we have various policy tools,” Han said.

The government has moved to cushion a deepening economic slowdown as authorities race to stop the spread of COVID cases with full or partial lockdowns in dozens of cities, including the commercial hub of Shanghai. The COVID-19 resurgence is having a “huge impact” on China’s economy, but such impact will be short-lived, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Sheng Laiyun, deputy head of the National Bureau of statistics, as saying.

Some economists expect China’s year-on-year economic growth to slow sharply in the second quarter from 4.8% in the first quarter, or even shrink. The government has been cutting taxes for businesses and channelling more funds into infrastructure projects, while the central bank has been pumping more cash into the economy and increasing support for some sectors.

Some government economists have been calling for additional policy stimulus, including expanding the annual budget deficit and issuing special treasury bonds. The People’s Bank of China will step up financial support for the real economy, including lowering financing costs, deputy central bank governor Chen Yulu told the same news conference.

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