IMF urges China to boost stimulus, adjust Covid steps to counter slowdown

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on China to expand fiscal support and apply a more flexible Covid-containment strategy to address a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy, Bloomberg reports.

The IMF welcomed Beijing’s shift to more expansionary fiscal policy earlier this year, but even more support would help to counter the “ongoing growth slowdown,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said at a briefing Thursday.

Fiscal support would be particularly effective if focused on monetary transfers to strengthen the social-protection system, Rice said. Given China’s low level of inflation, the central bank should also continue providing policy support, he said.

Beijing should also adjust its draconian, zero-Covid strategy, according to Rice, who called for making the approach more flexible. The IMF encourages China to work on booster shots and targeting the undervaccinated, elderly population, Rice said.

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