China’s broad fiscal deficit hit an all-time high in the first nine months of the year as COVID outbreaks and a housing market slump continue to erode government income, reports Bloomberg.
The deficit in the budgets for all levels of government was RMB 7.16 trillion ($980 billion), according to Bloomberg calculations based on data released by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday. That is a record for any comparable period and is almost three times the RMB 2.6 trillion shortfall in January-September last year.
Chinese authorities have struggled to make ends meet this year as massive tax rebates and the persistent housing market crisis have cut government income sharply. However repeated lockdowns of major cities to contain COVID outbreaks have meant more spending on controlling and testing people, while there’s been demands to spend more on infrastructure to spur economic growth.