Don’t say stimulusj The government tries to temper a slowdown, surreptitiously jun ‘Ith 2014 1WITH the Chinese government still trying to slow credit growth after releasing aﬂood of lending from state-owned banks in Zﬂﬂ’ét, stimulus is a toxic word in Beijing. From the prime minister on down, the ofﬁcial line has consistently beenthat China neither needs nor wants another stimulus, and that the focus is instead on reforms to put the slowing economy on a stable footing for the longrun. S=o it was notable last month when lIIIhen Donggi, vice-head of a governmentalresearch institute, chose the term “mini stimulus” to describe the array ofadrenalin shots that the state has started administering to the economy. The fearis that the cooling property market, in particular, will pull growth below theofﬁcial goal of “about 15%”. Independent commentators have previouslyreferred to a “mini stimulus”, but M; Chen was hailed as the ﬁrst person speakingin an official capacity to deﬁne the policy stance as such. It appears to have beena slip-up. The cabinet, the central bank and top policymakers have still managedto keep the dreaded phrase from crossing their lips. But who can blame M; Chen? Virtually every week since early April, thegovernment has introduced—often publicly, sometimes not—new measures toencourage investment and prop up growth. The ﬁrst came in early April whenthe cabinet announced a small batch of ﬁscal initiatives, including investment inrailways, spending on public housing and tax breaks for small businesses. Bythemselves, these would not have been enough to arrest the economy’sslowdown, especially as the property market, a critical growth engine, hassputtered. But the government has steadily added to its initial package. It has pledged toinvest yet more in railways and is now aiming for BUD billion yuan [$128 billion]this year, a ﬁfth more than last year. It has launched big water-managementprojects. And it has taken the unusual step of urging local governments to speedup implementation of their spending commitments. Most potently, the central bank has also been drafted into the effort. Afterresisting calls for nearly a year to ease monetary policy, the People’s Bank ofChina has quietly taken several stimulative steps. It began by injecting cash in
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