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April 23, 2019

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Xi says fine-tune monetary policy based on growth

CHINA should fine-tune monetary policy in a pre-emptive way based on economic growth and price changes, according to a top-level meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.

“Monetary policy needs to be neither too tight, nor too loose and should be fine-tuned in a timely and pre-emptive way based on economic growth and changes in price situations,” the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission said.

The meeting pointed out that it is necessary to strengthen regulation of countercyclical macro policy and strive to put tax cuts and fee reduction in place as soon as possible.

Greater efforts should be made to improve business environment, accelerate the upgrading of the economic structure, improve capabilities to innovate in science and technology, and speed up green development.

President Xi also stressed targeted efforts to improve weak links in building a “moderately prosperous society in all respects.”

Xi said the country had achieved “decisive progress” in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. However, there remain weak areas that should be faced squarely and dealt with targeted efforts.

He also called for courage and wisdom to tackle problems and good implementation of the decisions taken at the central economic work conference.

Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a target to be completed by 2020. Poverty-alleviation efforts should be focused on areas that are trapped in deep poverty.

On top of making sure that people in these areas are kept warm and fed, more efforts should be made to ensure that they are covered by compulsory education, basic medical care and safe housing, the meeting said.

The meeting also urged efforts to tackle prominent problems that pollute the environment in key areas, advance the work on public wellbeing by increasing input in compulsory education, basic medical care, safe housing and drinking water, as well as child and elder care.

The meeting also stressed the improvement of the subsistence allowances system.

Efforts should be made to expand supply-side structural reform, make micro-entities more dynamic, and upgrade the industrial chain.

The report was the fourth from a top-ranking policymaking body in China in less than two weeks, and comes as financial markets debate how much more additional support Beijing will provide to the world’s second-largest economy after surprisingly resilient data released last week.

The economy expanded at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, with industrial output, retail sales and investment in March all growing faster than expected following a raft of growth-boosting measures rolled out in recent months.

Producer and consumer price gauges in China have picked up, easing concerns about deflationary risks, but broader inflation levels are still modest.

The commission’s comments reiterated that China will step up fiscal policy and strengthen macro counter-cyclical adjustments, a phrase that usually refers to efforts to reduce pressure on the economy.


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