Desmoines News Desk

China Fast-Tracks $1 Trillion in Projects to Spur Growth

China Fast-Tracks $1 Trillion in Projects to Spur Growth

China is accelerating 300 infrastructure projects valued at 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year as policy makers seek to shore up growth that’s in danger of slipping below 7 percent. 635482754584155745-AP-CHINA-ECONOMY-38964549

Premier Li Keqiang’s government approved the projects as part of a broader 400-venture, 10 trillion yuan plan to run from late 2014 through 2016, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the decision wasn’t public. The National Development and Reform Commission, which will oversee the projects, didn’t respond to a faxed request for comment.

The move illustrates concern among officials that China’s planned shift to a domestic-consumption driven economy has yet to produce enough growth momentum. The yuan rose, halting a two-day decline, and Australia’s dollar — a proxy for China due to its shipments of iron ore and other commodities used in construction — climbed after the news. “It’s part of China’s efforts to stabilize growth, and the news will help to boost market confidence,” said Julia Wang, a Hong Kong-based economist with HSBC Holdings Plc. “Infrastructure investment will continue to be a major driver for China’s economic growth.”

The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) pared a loss of as much as 1.4 percent to close little changed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1.7 percent. The approvals contrast with past moves to boost growth via infrastructure in which the government gave the green-light to projects individually. They are part of efforts to respond to weak output, according to the people.