China will step up policy support for economy, premier tells state media

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 5, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) -China will step up macro-economic policy support for the economy, state media quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Tuesday, after data showed growth unexpectedly slowed last month.

China’s economy continued to recover in July, but there were “small fluctuations”, Li said during a video meeting with senior officials from six major provinces – Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Henan and Sichuan.

“A sense of urgency must be strengthened to consolidate the foundation for economic recovery,” Li was quoted as saying.

China’s central bank cut key lending rates in a surprise move on Monday to revive demand, as data showed the economy slowing in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.

Authorities will thoroughly implement a package of policy measures unveiled in May, and will increase the intensity of macro-economic policies to keep economic activity within an reasonable range, Li was quoted as saying.

The government will take more steps to boost consumption and expand effective investment, Li added.

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