BEIJING (Reuters) – China will use timely cuts in banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR), alongside other monetary policy tools, to keep liquidity reasonably ample, state media on Wednesday quoted a cabinet meeting as saying.
Hurt by COVID-19 restrictions and a sharp property downturn, China’s economy has been struggling to get back on its feet, even after a flurry of policy measures this year to spur domestic demand.
Economic activity in the fourth quarter “is crucial for full-year growth”, according to the State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday, adding that now was a “critical time” to consolidate the economy’s stable foundation.
“We will use monetary policy tools such as cuts in the reserve requirement ratio in a timely and appropriate way to maintain reasonable and sufficient liquidity.”
China’s economy suffered a broad slowdown in October and a recent spike in COVID-19 cases has deepened concerns about its growth in the last quarter of 2022 amid an ailing property sector, a high jobless rate among young people and protracted coronavirus restrictions under Beijing’s zero-COVID strategy.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) usually follows guidance from the cabinet, which oversees the world’s second-largest economy and charts the fundamental course of China’s policies.
The PBOC last cut the RRR – the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves – by 25 basis points in April when commercial hub Shanghai entered a citywide lockdown.
China will keep its economic operations within a reasonable range and strive to achieve relatively good results, CCTV reported, adding that previous fiscal and financial policies were having an effect but still had great potential.
The cabinet also called for stabilising and expanding consumption and vowed to support sound development of the platform economy.
To support the sluggish housing market, China will push forward the implementation of special loans for home delivery and encourage commercial banks to issue new loans, CCTV reported.
Deputy PBOC governor Pan Gongsheng said the bank would provide 200 billion yuan ($27.93 billion) in loans to six commercial banks for housing completions, state media Economic Daily said on Monday.
Three of China’s biggest commercial banks have agreed to provide fundraising support to property developers, including industry giant Vanke, in a coordinated effort to support the country’s embattled property sector.
On Wednesday, the PBOC issued a notice outlining 16 steps to support the property industry, including loan repayment extensions, in a major push to ease a liquidity crunch which has plagued the sector since mid-2020. Reuters reported last week on the rescue package, citing sources.
($1 = 7.1620 Chinese yuan renminbi)
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