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China plans to boost consumption amid demand worries | Business & Economics

The National Development and Reform Commission said it was drafting a plan to boost recovery through “substantial” consumption.

China is drawing up plans to boost consumption recovery and expansion, state planning spokesman Meng Wei said, suggesting officials remain concerned about weak demand despite a sharp rebound in retail sales.

China’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter as businesses and consumers emerged from severe pandemic damage, even as headwinds from a global slowdown pointed to a bumpy road ahead.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) pledged on Wednesday to promote a sustained recovery in consumption.

“Currently, we are drafting documents on restoring and expanding consumption, mainly around key areas such as stabilizing big-ticket consumption, enhancing service consumption and expanding rural consumption,” Meng said.

Meng also mentioned at the news conference that stabilizing auto consumption is “a large part” of supporting consumption by promoting new energy vehicles to the countryside.

Although official data showed that retail sales accelerated in March from the previous month, policymakers remained concerned that a lack of demand was adding to uncertainty about the growth outlook.

“The international environment is still complex and changeable, the constraining factors of insufficient domestic demand are obvious, and the foundation for economic recovery is not solid,” Fu Linghui, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, said on Tuesday.

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