China Says Growth Top Priority

Newspaper says bank branches are being told to increase loans to local government.

China’s leaders pledged to keep adjusting policies to ensure stable economic growth this year as a state newspaper said some banks are telling branches to boost local-government loans.

“The ongoing pace of economic growth is within expectations, but the external environment remains grim and poses difficulties and challenges to growth,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing a meeting of the Communist Party’s Politburo. The meeting also determined that maintaining stable growth is still the top priority, Xinhua reported.

Negative Effects

At the same time, Chinese leaders are “keen to avoid making a similar mistake” of using a credit boom to finance another round of fiscal stimulus as authorities did with the plan in 2008-09, which “left serious negative consequences” for the economy, Wang said.

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