China expanding deficit spending to support growth, finance minister says

BEIJING — China's finance minister says Beijing is expanding deficit spending to prevent a slide in growth and support its efforts to overhaul its cooling economy.

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Lou Jiwei said Monday the deficit target of 3 per cent of gross domestic product, up from last year's 2.3 per cent, was in line with Communist Party plans to nurture slower, more self-sustaining growth.

At a news conference, Lou said the deficit was widening "because we don't want to see a decrease in economic growth."

On Saturday, the Chinese leadership lowered its growth target for the world's second-largest economy to 6.5 to 7 per cent from last year's level of "about 7 per cent."

The ruling Communist Party has said that is the minimum required to achieve its goals for raising incomes.



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