China says risk of gov't debt controllable

Updated 2017-07-01 10:20:26 Xinhua

Chinese officials said Friday government debt is controllable and steady economic growth is being maintained.

Authorities have assigned the debt ceiling and the value of government debt outstanding has been declining with risks diminishing, said Wang Kebing, deputy head of the Ministry of Finance budget department.

Most of the problems revealed by the audit have been rectified and those held accountable for wrongdoings punished, said Wang.

To find and solve problems, the National Audit Office (NAO) selected and audited cities and counties in 16 provinces where government debt had increased considerably, said Wei Qiang with the NAO.

Although there was an 87 percent growth in debt balance, the average government debt ratio (the debt balance to be repaid with public funds by government divided by the comprehensive financial resources of the same government) in these regions reached 70 percent, said Wei.

Compared with the government debt ratio of other major economies, this is still relatively low. Meanwhile, a large part of the newly increased debt was used to improve people' s livelihoods and promote social development, according to Wei.

Local governments have issued less debt this year following measures to ease the country's mounting debt burden, official data showed.

With continued government action against high leverage, the growth of local debt issuance will likely slow further, analysts predicted.

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