Bloomberg reported on December 13 that China is delaying its critical economic policy meeting due to surges of COVID infections in Beijing.
The Central Economic Work Conference was scheduled to start on December 15. It intended to welcome many officials from different levels, such as members of the Politburo, provincial governors, leaders of governmental organizations and financial institutions, and Xi Jinping. In addition, officials would discuss policy objectives for the coming year.
This meeting usually lasts three days, with a readout being released by official media at the conclusion.
Economists had been expecting officials to signal looser fiscal and monetary policy and additional easing in the real estate market to bolster the nation’s economic growth.
This month, China abruptly ended its strict “zero-COVID” measures by abandoning most testing and isolation of infected patients.
However, there are indications that the virus is spreading quickly, notably in Beijing, where there are extended hospital waiting lines and a rising lack of fever-treating medications.
Li Ang, a spokesman from the municipal health commission, reported that the visits to Beijing’s fever clinics amounted to 22,000 on December 11.
After COVID cases rose in Beijing, China delayed the conference with no specific rescheduling announcement.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict China’s economic growth will reach only 3.2% this year, the slowest rate since the 1970s barring the pandemic dip in 2020.