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China's finance ministry first quarter fiscal revenue affected by coronavirus

By Shivani Singh and Winni Zhou
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks walk inside an office building at the Lujiazui financial district in Pudong

By Shivani Singh and Winni Zhou

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's first quarter fiscal revenue was affected by the coronavirus outbreak, but the economy was resilient and the total size of revenues remained huge, a finance ministry official said at a press briefing on Saturday.

Despite the impact, the lives of those who live in poverty should not be affected and there was a relatively big potential for economic growth, said Fu Jinling, head of the social insurance division of the Ministry of Finance.

China's fiscal revenues increased 3.8% in calendar 2019, the finance ministry said in February.

In the first quarter of 2019, China's fiscal revenue rose 6.2% year on year to 5.37 trillion yuan (£625.00 billion).

On March 5, a vice finance minister said the ministry will meet the funding needs of the central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, as its revenue has shrunk, with only "sporadic" income in February.

In February, the finance ministry said China's local governments would suffer an "interim impact" on fiscal revenue and expenditure from the virus epidemic.

(Reporting by Shivani Singh and Kevin Yao in Beijing and Winni Zhou in Shanghai; Editing by Michael Perry and Richard Pullin)