Jan-March fiscal revenue signals boost to recovery
Updated: April 19, 2023 09:28 China Daily

China's first-quarter fiscal revenue growth is likely to prove a solid foundation for overall economic recovery this year, better energize businesses and boost job creation, officials and experts said.

China's Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday the country's fiscal revenue rose 0.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, reversing a downtrend seen in the January-February period, while fiscal expenditure rose 6.8 percent.

Xue Xiaoqian, a ministry official, said at a news conference that first-quarter fiscal revenue at the central level, however, fell 4.7 percent year-on-year, while that at the local level grew by 5 percent.

First-quarter national tax revenue came in at 5.17 trillion yuan ($750 billion), down 1.4 percent year-on-year. The country's first-quarter value-added tax or VAT revenue grew by 12.2 percent year-on-year, yet income from consumption tax dropped 22.2 percent.

Xue partially attributed the mild year-on-year growth in fiscal revenue to the low-base effect. In addition, tax payments from small businesses, which were deferred from last year to earlier this year, also contributed to overall revenue growth.

He said fiscal revenue growth might slow in the second half. The country will also accelerate the issuance and use of special local government bonds, and that growth in fiscal revenue will provide a solid foundation for overall growth recovery and energize market players.

China's National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday that the economy grew by 4.5 percent in the first quarter, beating market expectations.

Shi Yinghua, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, said the recent mild growth trend in fiscal revenue is conducive to keeping this year's fiscal spending and income in balance overall. Such balance will provide a solid foundation for the recovery of businesses and overall economic development.

"Growth in fiscal revenue has turned positive. This indicates the country's macroeconomic policies are delivering tangible outcomes, alongside a strong economic recovery. Such a trend is likely to continue for the rest of the year," Shi said.

She also said this year, positive factors contributing to economic growth are likely to accumulate, and the effect of an intensified proactive fiscal policy will steadily scale up. In addition, fiscal spending will also be intensified, particularly to improve livelihoods.

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