China says will not resort to massive stimulus by sharply boosting infrastructure

Official data released showed that fixed asset investment grew 5.2 per cent from January to November.
Official data released showed that fixed asset investment grew 5.2 per cent from January to November.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China will take a targeted approach to boosting investment and will not resort to massive stimulus in its infrastructure push, the state planner said on Tuesday (Dec 17), as Beijing ramps up support to stabilise its slowing economy.

The comments flagging a cautious approach to stimulus come a day after economic data showed fixed asset investment posting meagre growth in November.

"We will resolutely not open the floodgate of stimulus and will scientifically push forward these major projects,” Ms Meng Wei, spokesman at the National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters in a regular briefing.

Ms Meng said the market would play a decisive role in resource allocation and that policy support for infrastructure projects in the central and western China would be stepped up.

Official data released on Monday showed that fixed asset investment grew 5.2 per cent from January-November, in line with the increase seen in the first 10 months, which was the weakest in decades. Infrastructure investment, in particular, slowed further.

As Beijing seeks to avert a sharper economic slowdown, policymakers have brought forward one trillion yuan (S$194 billion) of the 2020 local government special bonds quota, used to finance infrastructure projects, to this year.

In November, the National Development and Reform Commission approved eight fixed-asset investment projects in November worth a combined 7.1 billion yuan, according to Ms Meng. That compared with approvals worth 44.2 billion yuan in October.

China has the confidence to achieve its full-year economic targets, Ms Meng said.

Beijing has said it would maintain its proactive fiscal stance and prudent monetary policy, making economic adjustments more forward-looking, targeted and effective.