Business / Economy

Pro-growth economic initiatives announced

By Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-03 07:54

China announced a slew of pro-growth measures on Wednesday in what economists described as a targeted stimulus program, after a run of disappointing economic indicators raised concerns that economic growth in the first quarter might slip below the official target.

Pro-growth economic initiatives announced

Pro-growth economic initiatives announced

At a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, three major initiatives were announced, including tax breaks for small and micro enterprises, greater support for the redevelopment of run-down urban areas and more investment in railways.

The measures came after a series of data points indicated weakened economic activity from January through March. Economists worry that if no fresh measures were rolled out, the overall economy could sink to an unacceptable level.

"The economy now is like a decelerating car. If you take your foot off the throttle, it slows precipitously. But you also have to make sure that you don't gun it too hard," said Chen Hufei, a macroeconomic analyst with Bank of Communications.

Analysts said the initiatives announced at the State Council meeting signaled that the leadership is eyeing a targeted stimulus while refraining from an all-out massive stimulus that would risk worsening debt and overcapacity.

For example, the State Council said it is considering further measures to alleviate the tax burden on small and micro enterprises in an effort to stimulate the dynamics of this sector.

The statement after the meeting said the State Council is "considering" lowering the threshold for enterprises eligible for favorable policy treatment, halving the taxable revenue of their corporate income tax.

The current line is drawn at companies with an annual taxable revenue base of less than 60,000 yuan ($9,700). The statement did not say how much exactly the threshold would be lowered.

The current tax policy was implemented at the beginning of 2012, with an effective period through the end of 2015. Wednesday's statement said the period will be extended one year, to end at the end of 2016.

Pro-growth economic initiatives announced

Pro-growth economic initiatives announced

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