Service sector

China calls for more support for contact-intensive service sector

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s central bank and insurance regulator have urged financial institutions to step up support for the contact-intensive service sector and small businesses hit by COVID-19 outbreaks.

Financial support should also be given priority to key sectors including freight logistics and consumption, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement on Wednesday, following a meeting attended by senior financial regulators the day before.

Flexible adjustments should be made to mortgage payment schedules for homebuyers affected by COVID outbreaks, the PBOC said in a statement.

The PBOC said on Friday it would reduce the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves for the first time this year, freeing up about 530 billion yuan ($83.25 billion) of long-term liquidity to support the slowdown. of economic growth, starting April 25.

And in Wednesday’s statement, the PBOC said the effectiveness of the policy hinged on the full pass-through of monetary adjustments to the economy to release the benefits as soon as possible.

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 4.8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, but a slowdown evident in March data poses a risk to the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.

Pan Gongsheng, Vice Governor of PBOC and Xiao Yuanqi, Vice Chairman of China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission attended the meeting. -Reuter