Work Report

China to increase 2013 deficit to $191 billion

Updated: 2013-03-05 09:34

BEIJING - The Chinese government is projecting a fiscal deficit of 1.2 trillion yuan ($191 billion) for 2013, 400 billion yuan more than the budgeted figure last year, according to a government work report to the national legislature on Tuesday.

The deficit consists of a central government deficit of 850 billion yuan and 350 billion yuan in bonds to be issued on behalf of local governments, said the report.

China to increase 2013 deficit to $191 billion

"It is necessary to appropriately increase the deficit and government debt as the time-lag of past structural tax cuts will make it hard for government revenue to grow fast this year, while fixed government expenditures will increase," the report said.

China has a relatively low debt-to-GDP ratio, and the increase in the deficit this year will bring the deficit-to-GDP ratio to about 2 percent, which is overall at a safe level, according to the report.

The increased spending will be used to ensure and improve people's wellbeing and maintain support for economic growth and structural adjustment, it said.