BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s fiscal spending rose 3.8 percent in April from a year earlier, slowing sharply from a 25.4 percent jump in March and adding to signs of cooling in the world’s second-largest economy.
Central government spending rose 3 percent in April from a year earlier while local government spending grew 3.9 percent, the finance ministry said on Friday.
The slowdown in spending was mainly due to significant expenditure earlier, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
Government spending in January-April rose 16.3 percent from a year earlier, it said.
Government-led stimulus has been a major driver of economic growth over the past years, but the pump-priming has also been accompanied by runaway credit growth and has created a mountain of debt.
Authorities have stepped up efforts in the last several months to curb debt and housing risks, and a raft of recent data has showed signs of cooling in the economy, which expanded a solid 6.9 percent in the first quarter.
Fiscal revenue increased 11.8 percent in the first four months and was up 7.8 percent in April from a year earlier, slowing from March’s 12.2 percent rise, the ministry said.
China has kept its budget deficit at 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017, the same as last year, and pledged to clamp down on risks associated with local government debt.
Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Kevin Yao; Editing by Jacqueline Wong & Shri Navaratnam