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[BEIJING] China's fiscal spending jumped 33.2 per cent in April from a year earlier, data from the Ministry of Finance showed on Thursday, quickening sharply from the 4.4 per cent rise seen in March, reflecting the government efforts to support a slowing economy.
The government has set a wider budget deficit for 2015 to step up spending and spur economic growth, and policy insiders have told Reuters that in addition to further monetary easing, the government may resort to fiscal stimulus.
Government spending totalled 1.25 trillion yuan (US$201.57 billion) in April, the ministry said. "Finance departments have earnestly implemented the pro-active fiscal policy despite slower economic growth and the pressure on fiscal revenues," the ministry said.
For the first four months, spending rose 26.4 per cent from a year earlier, it said.
China's economic growth slowed to a six-year low 7 per cent in the first quarter as demand at home and abroad faltered, and recent data showed weakness persisted into the second quarter.
A breakdown of the January-April figures showed spending on the environmental protection rose 30.5 per cent from a year earlier, while spending on transportation jumped 57.8 per cent.
Expenditure on social security and employment climbed 16 percent and expenditure on housing benefits rose 21.2 per cent.
Fiscal revenues rose 8.2 per cent in April from a year earlier, the data showed, up from a 5.8 per cent rise in March.
Income tax receipts from manufacturers fell 4.5 per cent in April from a year earlier, while revenues from property companies fell 11.9 per cent, the ministry said.
Domestic value-added tax receipts rose 2.4 per cent while consumption taxes rose 22.7 per cent.