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China Aiming to Boost Consumer Spending and Childcare

Chinese officials said on Thursday they will focus policies on key goals such as housing, helping elderly citizens, and boosting childcare and encouraging couples to have more children

Data from a private sector survey by Caixin S&P Global on Friday showed the economy is bouncing back to normal after Covid restrictions were dropped two months ago.
A mother and child are seen in a shopping mall in Beijing. The economy is rebounding after Covid restrictions were dropped in December. Reuters file photo.


Chinese officials said on Thursday they will craft policies on some key goals – such as housing, helping the elderly, boosting consumer spending, and childcare services.

The latter move is part of a plan to encourage couples to have more children, which stems from the historic drop last year in China’s population.

The plans from China’s state planning body, plus the finance and industry ministries were outlined in Qiushi, the ruling Communist Party’s journal.


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PBOC keen to rev up economy

The central bank also said this week that it would encourage financial institutions to lend more to private sector businesses.

While not all new in content, the slew of announcements underscores a sense of urgency on the part of Chinese authorities in their efforts to reinvigorate the economy.

Last year it slumped to one of its weakest levels of growth in nearly half a century, battered by tough zero-Covid restrictions.

Analysts expect stimulus measures to be announced over the coming months, noting that data has shown some signs of recovery in the economy although it is still far from firing on all cylinders.


Growth rate ‘won’t be too high’

“The foundation for economic recovery is not yet solid and there is great uncertainty for fiscal revenue,” Liu Kun, China’s finance minister wrote in Qiushi, adding that while fiscal revenue would grow this year, the growth rate will not be too high.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s state planner, said it will work on plans to boost incomes, improve the spending power of low and middle-income citizens as well as encourage spending on housing, new energy vehicles and elderly care services.

The finance ministry said policymakers will seek to encourage and attract more private capital to the market, while also taking steps to curb the increase in hidden debts and prevent illegal and irregular debt raising.

China will accelerate the research and development of key technologies, Jin Zhuanglong, the industry and information technology minister, also wrote in Qiushi.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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