China Registers Deficit After Burst of Spending

From The Wall Street Journal:

China recorded a fiscal deficit of 111.01 billion yuan ($16.23 billion) for 2008, as government spending surged in the final month of last year when Beijing ramped up its stimulus measures to boost the flagging economy.

Meantime, China’s State Council said in its first policy statement of the year that it will take decisive actions to maintain reasonable rural product prices and prevent farmers’ income from being hurt by a downturn in both domestic and global economies.

The full-year fiscal deficit reversed the 1.224 trillion yuan in surplus made in the first 11 months of 2008 and also reversed from the surplus recorded for 2007, underscoring the government’s rapid rollout of an expansionary fiscal policy to counter a slowdown that pushed growth in the world’s third-largest economy to a seven-year low in the final quarter of 2008.

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