China leaders chart a course for 2020

Business | Agencies 13 Dec 2019

China's leaders charted a course for the economy in 2020 during an annual Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing which concluded yesterday.

In a speech at the conference, President Xi Jinping reviewed the country's economic work in 2019, analyzed the current situation and outlined key tasks for 2020, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Members of the Communist Party's Politburo, ministers, provincial governors, bankers and military officers attended the annual event which opened on Tuesday.

Full details of the policies and numerical targets won't be available until the National People's Congress in March.

Meanwhile, sales of construction equipment in China saw robust growth in November, suggesting that Beijing's efforts to boost infrastructure investment amid a slowing economy might be taking effect.

Excavator sales from the country's 25 leading excavator manufacturers rose 21.7 percent last month from a year earlier, according to the China Construction Machinery Association, almost twice as fast as October's 11.5 percent increase. Heavy trucks sales were up 13.8 percent during the same period, about the same pace seen in October, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

Excavator and heavy truck sales are indicators of infrastructure investment, given their use in construction projects.

In the automotive market, vehicle sales in China are set to fall about 8 percent this year, an industry body said, the second straight annual drop for the world's biggest auto market as consumers stay away from showrooms amid a cooling economy.

Separately, a major Chinese commodities trader became the biggest dollar bond defaulter among the nation's state-owned companies in two decades, in a moment of reckoning for Beijing as it struggles to contain credit risk in a weakening economy.

Tewoo Group announced results of its unprecedented debt restructuring, which saw a majority of its investors accepting heavy losses.

This is expected to reshape investors' perceptions about government-owned borrowers whose identity has for years offered a relatively strong sense of security.

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