World Bulletin / News Desk
China's fiscal spending jumped in July to 37.1 percent from a year earlier, quickening from 17.7 percent in June, official data showed on Friday, the latest evidence that the government is stepping up efforts to combat an economic slowdown.
The world's second-largest economy expanded at the slowest pace in more than three years in the second quarter and the latest data pointed to weaker factory output and retail sales, fanning market expectations of fresh policy easing from Beijing.
Fiscal expenditure of 952.8 billion yuan ($149.83 billion) in July consisted of 167 billion yuan by central government and 785.8 billion yuan by local governments, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website, www.mof.gov.cn
The government has been fast-tracking some infrastructure projects and doling out subsidies for energy-efficient home appliances in hopes of giving a lift to its economy.
Government spending was focused on key programmes to improve people's livelihood, the ministry said. Spending on affordable housing soared 39.2 percent during the January-July period from a year earlier while that on transportation rose 34.9 percent.
The government has also increased expenses on healthcare and education, with spending on the two areas rising 25 percent and 32 percent in the first seven months year-on-year, respectively.
China's fiscal revenues rose 8.2 percent in July from a year earlier to 1.07 trillion yuan, the ministry's data showed. The growth rate slowed from a rise of 9.8 percent in June and 13.1 percent in May.
The ministry attributed a slowing fiscal revenue growth to falling corporate earnings and tax cuts in some sectors.
Revenues from value-added tax in July edged up 0.7 percent from a year earlier, while consumption tax receipts rose 11.5 percent.
Receipts from cooperate income tax in July inched up 2.8 percent from a year earlier, after a rise of 10.1 percent in June, in line with the slowing economy and falling factory-gate prices, which eat into corporate earnings.
Fiscal incomes from business tax rose 13.3 percent from a year earlier, with tax receipts from the property sector rising 7.6 percent.
Pakistan will give India Most Favored Nation status by the end of March.
"Germany's dependence on Russian gas may effectively decrease Europe's sovereignty. I have no doubts about that," Polish PM Tusk said
EU member Bulgaria has started preliminary works on the pipeline on its territory, but has repeatedly said its operation should be in line with EU rules
Japan posted a current account deficit of 1.58 trillion yen (US$15 billion) for January.
The Asia-Pacific would be left with more than half a billion chronically hungry people even if the region meets its millennium development goal
The Visegrad 4 group including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia is looking to diversify supplies
Nick Letchford, managing director of the group that owns the Old Shoreditch Station cafe, decided to install the machine after noticing the popularity of bitcoins among his customers working nearby in the digital industries.
Varying degrees of drought are hitting almost two thirds of the limited arable land across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.
Turkey deems Iranian gas too expensive compared with other suppliers like Russia and Azerbaijan, an assertion rejected by Tehran.
Satoshi Nakamoto, a name known to legions of bitcoin traders, practitioners and boosters around the world, appeared to lose his anonymity on Thursday after Newsweek published a story that said he lived in Temple City, California, just east of Los Angeles.
BP's exploration and production sharing agreement with Libya covers onshore acreage in Ghadames, near the border between Libya, Algeria and Tunisia, and offshore acreage in the central Sirte basin
There are discussions at high levels within the U.S. government on how to use U.S. natural gas resources
The judicial sources said on Thursday that prosecutors suspected the companies of working together on campaigns to favour Lucentis, including promoting it to local doctors
Scotland's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing offered to meet Shell to discuss the future of the oil and gas industry if Scotland votes to end its 307-year tie with England
European Commission President said that from a purely financial standpoint the crisis in Ukraine should not have much impact on the euro zone but there was potential for far greater instability