By Joe Cash
BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities said on Thursday they would institute policies aimed at boosting housing spending and unlocking consumer savings built up during the pandemic.
The policies include efforts to help the elderly, improve child care services and encourage couples to have more children — the policies announced after a historic decline in China’s population last year.
The plans of China’s state planning agency, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry are outlined in Qiushi, a publication of the ruling Communist Party. The central bank also said this week that it would encourage financial institutions to lend more to private companies.
While not everything is new, the slew of announcements underscores the sense of urgency with which Chinese authorities are trying to revive the economy. It fell to one of its weakest growth levels in nearly half a century last year, hit by a zero-COVID policy.
Analysts expect stimulus measures to be announced in the next few months, noting that the data has shown some signs of economic recovery, but it is far from full steam ahead.
“The foundation of the economic recovery is not yet solid, and there are great uncertainties in fiscal revenue,” Liu Kun, China’s finance minister, wrote in Qiushi, adding that while fiscal revenue will grow this year, the The growth rate will not be too high.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission said it will formulate plans to increase income, increase spending power of low- and middle-income citizens, and encourage spending on housing, new energy vehicles and elderly care services.
Increase hidden debts to prevent illegal and illegal borrowing.
China will speed up research and development of key technologies, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Jin Zhuanglong also wrote in Qiushi.