UK Markets close in 3 hrs 48 mins

China Sends Officials to Supervise Policy Rollout in Provinces

(Bloomberg) -- China’s government sent high-level officials to five provinces to supervise the rollout of its stimulus measures as Beijing pushes hard to counter an economic slowdown.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The State Council, the country’s cabinet, dispatched “supervision and service teams for stabilizing the economy” to Fujian, Shandong, Hunan, Hubei and Henan provinces, according to a weekend report in the government-run Beijing Youth Daily’s official WeChat account.

Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, headed a team of inspectors who went to Henan province, the Henan Daily said in a separate report. The team promised to provide more support to the central province on expanding funding for investment and accelerating project approvals, it said.

The government highlighted the role of inspection teams last week when it announced a 19-point stimulus package of more than 1 trillion yuan ($145 billion) focused mainly on infrastructure spending. Policy oversight was needed to “accelerate the implementation of the measures,” the State Council said in a statement at the time.

Read More: These Are China’s 19 New Measures to Bolster Economic Growth

Pessimism about China’s economic outlook has worsened this year because of repeated Covid lockdowns and a deepening property crisis, with economists now forecasting gross domestic product growth of 3.5% -- well below an official target of about 5.5% that has been downplayed in recent months.

China International Capital Corp. analysts said in note on Monday the inspection teams were one of the “important bright spots” among the policy measures announced last week, adding they would “supervise and assist the work of stabilizing overall economic performance.”

Three of the provinces mentioned in the Youth Daily report -- Fujian, Shandong and Henan -- were among the provinces whose heads met with Premier Li Keqiang this summer, and which were urged to take a leading role in stabilizing the economy. Inspectors will also be sent to another five provinces soon, according to the report, although it didn’t name them.

One of the key focus areas for inspectors will be supporting troubled property developers as they try to complete and deliver housing projects, according to the Youth Daily report. The beleaguered real-estate sector is in the middle of an intense downturn, with homebuyers boycotting mortgage payments because of unbuilt houses.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.