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The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports on Monday:

  • China may lower its budget deficit-to-GDP ratio to about 2.8-3% in 2022 from the “about 3.2%” set last year, retreating to the 3% red line as the economy gradually normalizes, the Securities Times reported citing Wu Chaoming, the chief economist at Chasing Securities. The high government deposits, due to higher surplus funds carried over from the previous two years, will be a strong support to expand fiscal spending, the newspaper cited Wu as saying. Some analysts expect another issuance of special China treasury bonds this year as a follow-up to CNY1 trillion issued in 2020 immediately following the Covid-19 outbreak, which is not included in the fiscal deficit. About CNY950 billion special treasury bonds are maturing this year, the newspaper said.
  • Local governments in China will be more flexible in relaxing housing regulations this year as they prioritize development and meet the reasonable needs of homebuyers, the China Securities Journal reported. Banks will quicken mortgage approvals to boost transactions and stabilize overall prices, the newspaper said citing Xu Xiaole, chief analyst with Beike Research Institute. Authorities will also promote large-scale construction of affordable housing this year to help stabilize real estate investment, the newspaper said citing analysts.
  • China won’t bow to the IMF’s opposition to its zero-COVID policy as it sees the strict measures guarantee the smooth operation of the economy, Lu Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote in a commentary for the government-run Global Times. The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday that China's policy is putting more at risk as a supply source for the rest of the world, Lu wrote. China has joint prevention and control mechanism and will never give it up, while Western countries lack the ability, Lu wrote.
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