Caixin OnlineOpinionEditorial Learning to Cope with Lean Times
09.12.2012 17:50

Learning to Cope with Lean Times

The growth of government revenue is declining, but spending is still rising. Officials must learn how to trim the fat in their spending

The growth in local government revenues is undeniably slowing in China. Even in the wealthier regions like Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Guangdong, revenue growth rates have slid to less than 10 percent year on year from 20 to 30 percent.

In the first seven months of this year, total revenues grew by only 13.8 percent, slower than forecast. Worse, land sales – the main source of income for local governments – have dropped sharply. In the first half of this year, the land transfer fees collected in 300 cities fell 38 per cent from a year ago.

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