China Props Up Growth by Injecting New Funds for Local Programs

  • NDRC plans to offer 600 billion yuan in second quarter
  • Funding through June eclipses total for all of last year

China’s top planning agency is doling out new fiscal stimulus in support of economic growth targets, further raising the amount of money available to local governments this year under a special infrastructure bond program, people familiar with the matter said.

The National Development and Reform Commission plans to offer 600 billion yuan ($93 billion) in the second quarter to help promote investment growth, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. That brings the total for the first half of this year to 1 trillion yuan and puts it on an annual pace that would be two-and-a-half times the 800 billion yuan total for all of last year.

The NDRC began the special bond program last year as part of a broader effort to boost spending and help prop up growth, which economists expect will slow to the bottom end of the government’s 6.5 percent to 7 percent expansion target for 2016. More bond resources will be allotted in later quarters, and this year’s total will be determined by economic conditions, the people said.

The NDRC did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

— With assistance by Steven Yang

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