China’s State Council ordered the National Audit Office to conduct an audit of China’s government debt on Friday, Reuters reported. The office, responsible for overseeing state finances, made the announcement in a one-sentence item on its website but gave no further details. The audit could indicate increased official concern over the systemic risk from rising debt levels in China, especially local government debt, as top leaders slow economic growth in order to promote reform. The first audit of local government debt found liabilities of US$1.8 trillion at the end of 2010, Bloomberg reported.
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