China will ensure stable economic operations this year, cabinet says

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FILE PHOTO: View of the city skyline and Huangpu river in Shanghai

BEIJING – China will ensure stable economic operations this year, keep economic growth, employment and prices within reasonable ranges, state media quoted the cabinet as saying on Monday.

China’s economy faces new downward pressure and difficulties and challenges increase, the cabinet was quoted as saying after a regular meeting.

China will “strengthen cyclical adjustments and put stabilising growth in a more prominent position, deepen reforms and opening up to strive to achieve the full-year targets and tasks”, the cabinet said.

China is targeting slower economic growth of around 5.5% this year as a property downturn and lacklustre consumption cloud the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.

China will enhance the availability of financing for small firms and lower comprehensive financing costs, the cabinet said.

China will closely monitor changes in the international situation and commodity prices and the possible impact on China’s economy, and take steps to cope with it, the cabinet said.

The government will quicken the pace of tax refunds to help firms, the cabinet added.

China has pledge to deliver tax cuts and tax rebates totalling around 2.5 trillion yuan ($393 billion) this year.

($1 = 6.3644 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Kevin Yao and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Toby Chopra)