China sees lower budget gap in 2010

08:43, January 21, 2011      

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China's budget deficit in 2010 hit about 650 billion yuan (US$99 billion), or 1.6 percent of gross domestic product, well below the country's target of 2.8 percent set at the start of last year, according to preliminary data published by the Ministry of Finance yesterday.

The figure was also lower than the deficit of 950 billion yuan, or 2.8 percent of GDP, registered in 2009.

That might be welcome in most countries, but in China the government has been targeting a larger deficit as part of efforts to increase public spending on education, health care and social security.

Nationwide fiscal revenues rose 21.3 percent to 8.31 trillion yuan in 2010, while expenditures increased 17.4 percent to 8.96 trillion yuan, the ministry said.

China had budgeted last year for revenue to grow 8 percent and expenditure to expand 11.4 percent, for a total deficit of 1.05 trillion yuan.

The ministry attributed the revenue growth to a strong economy, rising prices and low base of comparison. Revenues from several types of taxes, including value-added tax on imported products, consumption tax and car purchase tax, had grown faster than expected.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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