China’s state planner approved large-scale projects worth 121 billion yuan ($18.1 billion) in May – six times the amount it approved in April, as policymakers seek to get economic growth back on track.
The National Development and Reform Commission did not specify the fixed-asset investment projects but said it would include high-tech infrastructure projects in the scope of use of funds raised by the local government special bonds for the first time.
“We will ensure reasonable economic growth in the second quarter to provide a firm foundation and conditions for the economy in the second half of the year,” Meng Wei, the NDRC spokeswoman, said.
The NDRC also will give local governments more leeway in the use of funds they raise through special bonds, she said.
Meng added that the commission also will step up investment and financing support for private investment.
On Wednesday, state media quoted the cabinet meeting as saying China will guide financial institutions to issue more long-term loans and strengthen support for private investment.
The country will ramp up support for the economy and roll out more policy steps but refrain from issuing excessive money, the cabinet was quoted as saying.
Data released on Wednesday suggested activity in the world’s second-largest economy is beginning to pick up again in some sectors after widespread Covid-19 lockdowns in April and early May, but the recovery is still uneven and weak.
Most private economists believe the economy contracted in April-June, but the government is boosting support efforts and vowed to achieve positive growth in the second quarter.
In April, the state planner approved eight fixed-asset investment projects, worth a total of 18.8 billion yuan.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell
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