China says it will focus on economic stability in 2022

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BEIJING, Dec 10 (Reuters) - China will focus on stabilising the economy and keeping growth within a reasonable range in 2022, according to an official statement issued on Friday following an agenda-setting meeting of the country's top leaders.

China will continue to implement a prudent monetary policy and a proactive fiscal policy, said the statement, issued after the annual Central Economic Work Conference held from Dec. 8-10 and published by the official Xinhua news agency.

"Next year's economic work should prioritise stability and all regions and departments should shoulder the responsibility of stabilising the macroeconomy," Xinhua quoted the statement as saying, adding that China would bring forward policies conducive to economic stability next year in an appropriate way.

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China will maintain "a stable and healthy economic environment" for the 20th Party Congress next year, Xinhua said.

"We must see that China's economic development is facing the triple pressure of shrinking demand, supply shock and weakening expectations," Xinhua said, citing the meeting.

The world's second-largest economy faces multiple challenges heading into 2022, due to a property downturn and strict COVID-19 curbs that have hit consumer spending.

China will implement new tax and fee cuts and front-load infrastructure investment next year in an appropriate way, Xinhua said.

China will also step up cross-cyclical policy adjustments and support key areas such as employment, financing, trade and investment, and prevent financial risks, it said.

The meeting called for coordinated fiscal and monetary policies and combined cross-cyclical and counter-cyclical policy adjustments, as well as the implementation of a strategy to expand domestic demand, Xinhua said.

The central bank said on Monday it would cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for banks on Dec. 15, its second such move this year, releasing 1.2 trillion yuan ($188 billion) in long-term liquidity to bolster slowing growth. read more

China will strengthen anti-monopoly efforts and ensure fair competition and supervision, step up the protection of intellectual property rights and create a sound development environment for firms with various ownerships, Xinhua said.

China will give full play to the positive role of capital while effectively controlling its negative role, setting up "traffic lights" for capital by strengthening supervision, Xinhua said.

Top leaders reiterated that "housing is for living, not for speculation", and pledged to promote the healthy development of the property market and better meet reasonable demand of home buyers, Xinhua said.

($1 = 6.3696 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Kevin Yao and Beijing newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey and David Clarke

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