China will step up fiscal spending this year to support its economy, focusing on further cuts in taxes and fees for small firms, finance ministry officials said on Wednesday.
Mounting pressure on the world’s second-biggest economy pushed growth last year to its lowest since 1990 even as Beijing stepped up stimulus measures and spurred banks to lend more.
The government may unveil more fiscal stimulus during the annual parliamentary meeting in March, including bigger tax cuts and more spending on infrastructure projects, economists say.
China’s fiscal spending rose 8.7 percent to 22.1 trillion yuan ($3.3 trillion) in 2018, while revenue increased 6.2 percent to 18.3 trillion yuan, said Li Dawei, an official at the finance ministry.
China achieved its 2018 fiscal revenue target despite extensive tax cuts last year, Li added.
Beijing delivered about 1.3 trillion yuan of cuts in taxes and fees in 2018.
Finance Minister Liu Kun said this month that China will further lower taxes and fees this year. The government is also studying a plan to reduce social security fees to lighten the burden on small companies, Liu said.