BEIJING (Reuters) - China had a wider fiscal deficit in 2015 than a year earlier as it jacked up spending to cushion an economic slowdown and government revenue grew by the smallest percentage in 27 years, Finance Ministry data showed on Friday.
The ministry’s website said that fiscal expenditure rose 15.8 percent from 2014, while fiscal revenue grew 8.4 percent, leaving a deficit of 2.355 trillion yuan ($358 billion).
The figures are subject to revisions.
For 2014, China reported a deficit of 1.131 trillion yuan, less than half of last year’s size.
The slowing economy taken a toll on government income, and last year’s annual growth was the smallest since 1988, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The ministry - which did not provide December figures for revenue or expenditure - said China’s economy faced “relatively large pressure” last year. It added that fiscal operations were “basically stable” in 2015.
In November, expenditure was 25.9 percent higher than in the same month of 2014.
Premier Li Keqiang has stressed that China faces relatively large pressure in expanding both fiscal revenue and spending.
Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Richard Borsuk