China to stabilize, expand investment in manufacturing: NDRC



China will double down on efforts to stabilize and expand investment in the manufacturing sector, according to Meng Wei, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference on Wednesday.

These efforts will include making use of central investments, local government special bonds, and structural monetary policy, to increase investment in medium- and long-term loans for the manufacturing sector, expand investment in industrial and technological transformation, and promote equipment upgrading and technology transformations in manufacturing enterprises.

Earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics announced a downturn in the manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) in April, reflecting insufficient market demand. "Demand recovery is a key direction to promote stable growth in the industrial economy," Meng added.

"The Chinese economy faces a demand deficit situation," said Zhang Bin, a non-resident senior fellow of China Finance 40 Forum, at a conference held in Beijing on Wednesday. "It's vital to expand investment and consumption and increase demand."

The government should make full use of monetary and fiscal policy tools, Zhang added, noting that there is still plenty of room to adjust monetary and fiscal policies.

The central bank could lower the policy interest rate, make full use of the public budget and increase investment in infrastructure projects, thereby encouraging investment, he explained.

Earlier this week, China's central bank pledged its full efforts to keep economic growth, employment and prices stable with effective monetary policies.