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China lowers 2018 fiscal deficit target to 2.6% of GDP

Updated: Mar 5,2018 9:07 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China lowered its fiscal deficit target to 2.6 percent of GDP for 2018, down by 0.4 percentage points compared with 2017, according to a government work report available to media on March 5.

The government deficit is projected to be 2.38 trillion yuan (about $375 billion), with a central government deficit of 1.55 trillion yuan and local government deficit of 0.83 trillion yuan, according to the report to be delivered on the morning of March 5 at the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.

It marked the first reduction of debt-to-GDP ratio in three years as the target remained unchanged at 3 percent in 2016 and 2017.

“The reduction in the deficit-to-GDP ratio is mainly due to China’s economic growth being steady and the foundation being there for an increase in revenue; it also keeps policy options open for macro regulation,” said the report.

The proactive direction of China’s fiscal policy will remain the same, and the country will concentrate efforts to increase efficiency, the report added.

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