TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Thursday, May 23, 2024

China’s budget deficit hits record $1.1 trillion on COVID-Zero policy slump

China’s budget deficit hits record $1.1 trillion on COVID-Zero policy slump

China’s broad budget deficit hit a record so far this year, showing how damaging the now abandoned COVID Zero policy and the ongoing housing slump have been to the economy and to the government’s finances.

The augmented fiscal deficit was 7.75 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in January to November, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from the Ministry of Finance. That was more than double the same period last year and larger than in 2020, when the economy was battered by the initial COVID outbreak and growth was the slowest in decades.

The worsening deficit underscores just how bad the economy was at the end of November, shortly before the government in Beijing effectively scrapped its strict policy of trying to contain COVID infections.

The lockdowns, testing and quarantine rules that were key to the COVID Zero policy put a strain on consumer and business spending, pushing the economy close to contraction in the second quarter. A surge in infections this quarter has already caused a drop in retail sales in October and November.

The COVID policy was also increasingly expensive to maintain. Local governments had to bear huge costs to test and quarantine residents, while their income from land sales and taxes plummeted amid a slump in the housing market.

With COVID infections now sweeping across the country, local governments are unlikely to see an immediate improvement in tax revenue and finances. Healthcare spending is likely to jump as more people fall sick, even if spending on testing and quarantines fall. There’s also little immediate prospect for an improvement in the property market, which will likely keep land sales revenue subdued.

Consumers in some cities are avoiding crowded places, and labor shortages and factory disruptions are expected to increase in coming months as infections spread. Car sales, a rare bright spot for consumption this year, declined for the first time in six months in November, while the fall in home purchases deepened even though local authorities further eased curbs on buying.


Spending Up, Revenue Down


Total income from the general public and government fund budgets was 18.6 trillion yuan in the first 11 months of this year. That was down 3 percent from a year earlier, a slowdown from the 4.5 percent drop in the first 10 months. It would have risen 6.1 percent had it not been for tax rebates the government mostly handed out earlier in the year, according to the finance ministry.

Governments across the country made 715 billion yuan from selling land in November, compared with the 552 billion yuan earned in the previous month but down about 13 percent from a year earlier. Land sales revenue has slumped by double digits almost every month this year, and may “remain subdued in coming months” given developers’ still-tight funding conditions and the ongoing COVID ‘exit wave’, economists from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wrote in a report after the data was released.

Revenue from deed taxes slid 23.8 percent in the first 11 months of the year from the same period in 2021.

Total government spending in the first 11 months was 22.7 trillion yuan, which was up 6.2 percent from a year earlier and compares with a 6.4 percent rise in the January-October period. Expenditure under the government fund budget rose 5.5 percent, decelerating from a 9.8 percent increase in the first 10 months.

Total fiscal spending is expected to total 26.3 trillion yuan this year, Finance Minister Liu Kun wrote in an article published by the official publication Study Times Monday. That compares with expenditure of 24.6 trillion yuan in 2021.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×