Report: China Unlikely to Pursue More Stimulus Spending

The state-run Xinhua news agency said the National Development and Reform Commission denied 'false reports' that it would repeat the huge spending drive it launched in late 2008.

China's state news agency has sought to dampen hopes of a major stimulus package to boost the slowing economy following days of market speculation.

Xinhua said China's top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), denied "false reports" that it would repeat the huge spending drive it launched in late 2008.

"The NDRC held a media briefing to clarify false reports that there would a new round of stimuli, a version 2.0 of the 4-trillion-yuan package," said the Tuesday report, which appeared only on the agency's weibo, or microblog.

Beijing responded swiftly to the global recession, unleashing a four-trillion-yuan (U.S. $586 billion) stimulus package in late 2008 and ordering state-owned banks to boost lending to spur economic activity.

The move returned the economy to double-digit growth, but also led to raised inflation and concerns about an explosion in bad debts.

China's growth fell to 8.1% in the first quarter of this year from 9.2% in 2011 as a whole, as woes in key export markets such as Europe and the United States hit its overseas sales.

The government this month cut banks' required reserve ratio, freeing up funds they can lend to clients, after unexpectedly low figures for April, with exports up just 4.9% year-on-year and imports virtually flat from a year earlier.

On Monday, the China Business News daily reported that the NDRC wants to speed up approvals of altogether 130 billion yuan of projects in the steel and transport industries to boost the economy.

"They're focusing on growth but the government seems quite insistent in its branding of this new expansionary policy," said Andrew Polk, a Beijing-based China economist with the Conference Board, a private research group.

"They want people to realize that this is not the big-bang policy they had a couple of years ago."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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