A radical shift in China’s property and pandemic policies

For almost three years China’s policymakers have been fighting a two-front war: against a virulent pandemic and a volatile property market. Their chosen policy instruments have turned out to be double-edged. “Zero-covid” mass-testing and hair-trigger lockdowns have saved lives at great cost to the economy. Tough curbs on property developers have stopped overborrowing, but also led to dozens of defaults and a prolonged slowdown in one of the country’s biggest drivers of growth.

In recent days, China’s policymakers have signalled a tactical retreat on both fronts. On November 11th officials released 20 measures adjusting zero-covid policies to make them a little less onerous and costly to administer. On November 13th China’s central bank and banking regulator circulated 16 measures to relieve the credit crunch in the property industry, restart construction on stalled projects and prevent a fresh wave of defaults. Together the measures amount to the biggest shift in Chinese…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.economist.com