China won't resort to massive infrastructure stimulus as investment slows

A general view of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and entrances to a cross sea tunnel, off Lantau island, a key infrastructure in the Greater Bay Area project in Hong Kong, China September 6, 2019. Picture taken September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will take a targeted approach to boosting investment and will not resort to massive stimulus in its infrastructure push, the state planner said on Tuesday, as Beijing ramps up support to stabilise its slowing economy.

The comments flagging a cautious approach to stimulus come a day after economic data showed fixed asset investment posting meagre growth in November.

“We will resolutely not open the floodgate of stimulus and will scientifically push forward these major projects,” Meng Wei, spokeswoman at the National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters in a regular briefing.

Meng said the market would play a decisive role in resource allocation and that policy support for infrastructure projects in the central and western China would be stepped up.

Official data released on Monday showed fixed asset investment grew 5.2% from January-November, in line with the increase seen in the first 10 months, which was the weakest in decades. Infrastructure investment, in particular, slowed further.

As Beijing seeks to avert a sharper economic slowdown, policymakers have brought forward 1 trillion yuan ($142.07 billion) of the 2020 local government special bonds quota, used to finance infrastructure projects, to this year.

In November, the NDRC approved eight fixed-asset investment projects in November worth a combined 7.1 billion yuan, according to Meng. That compared with approvals worth 44.2 billion yuan in October.

China has the confidence to achieve its full-year economic targets, Meng said.

Beijing has said it would maintain its proactive fiscal stance and prudent monetary policy, making economic adjustments more forward-looking, targeted and effective.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Sam Holmes