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China facing economic slowdown as 28 of 31 provinces record reduced growth targets

ANI | Updated: Mar 03, 2022 11:03 IST

Beijing [China], March 3 (ANI): Twenty-eight of China's 31 provincial-level governments have announced reduced growth targets and policy goals for 2022 as compared to previous years, indicative of the fact that China's economic slowdown has become a cause of worry for its government, states a media report.
The recent data in which regions such as Shanghai, Guangdong and Beijing also recorded a lower growth rate as compared to the previous year, has posed a concern for the post-COVID economic recovery of China, The Hong Kong Post reported.
The weakening external demand counters China's official claims of the economy having picked up, which in turn has worried President Xi Jinping about the bleak economic outlook of the country which may negatively impact his bid for another term at the 20th Party Congress later this year.
Ruptured industrial chain caused by COVID pandemic, pressure of carbon reduction, global supply chain disruptions, growing unemployment cast serious doubts regarding the government's ability to revive the economy, the media outlet reported.
The revenue shortages confronted by central and provincial governments can be seen as local governments across China ordered teachers and officials to pay back bonuses while civil service bonuses were suspended in Shanghai, Jiangxi, Henan, Shandong, Chongqing, Hubei and Guangdong. This indicates a fiscal crisis faced by the Chinese government.

The fiscal health of Chinese local governments seems to have deteriorated, especially since the first half of 2020, the publication reported adding that all the provinces barring Shanghai reported fiscal deficits.
The increasing unemployment among the youth in China may also affect the popularity of the Chinese government and the CPC.
The adverse impact of the economic slowdown can be clearly seen in China's financial sector as the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission recently revealed that a total of 2459 bank outlets of commercial banking institutions had ceased operations and its four major banks were compelled to close down 187 branches and retrench 22,355 personnel, The HK Post reported.
Xi's goal of "Common Prosperity" has become an added burden on Chinese business circles as Beijing has fastened its grip on big business and imprisoned a number of billionaires despite receiving donations from them.
To add to China's plight is an uncertain external environment amid the Ukraine-Russia war and the sanctions on Russia which may hit the Chinese economy even harder. (ANI)