Official figures released on Tuesday show that infrastructure investment continues to cool as Beijing’s strict deleveraging stance puts the brakes on local government debt, Caixin Global reports.
Government-driven infrastructure investment, which includes transport projects but excludes utilities, rose 12.4% year-on-year from January through April, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), slowing 6 bps from the first quarter.
Whilst this may appear to be a slowdown, especially when compared with the 20% growth rate during the same period in 2017, some say that 12% should not be considered low. NBS spokeswoman Liu Aihua said that this figure conforms with China’s transition from seeking rapid growth in favour of high-quality growth.
In addition to last year’s high base, tighter government oversight on local government credit and fundraising methods had brought the growth rate down, Liu said.