(Bloomberg) -- Chinese authorities may further soften their stance on property policies at its key economic meeting next week after the Communist Party’s top decision-making body said it will seek a turnaround in the economy for 2023, according to people familiar with the matter.
The annual Central Economic Work Conference, where policy makers discuss next year’s goals including the gross domestic product target and the budget deficit, will start on Dec. 15, according to people with knowledge of the arrangement, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Officials plan to play down the significance of “housing is for living, not for speculation,” the people said. That phrase has been consistently used by officials since 2016 to signify the government’s determination to curb speculation in the sector, rein in soaring home prices, contain debt risks and reduce excess supply in lower-tier cities. The authorities will aim to reverse the downward trend in property sector and resume normal operation of the industry, one of the people said.
They may also declare the nation’s yearslong campaign to deleverage its property market is completed with the focus for next year on boosting consumer demand, one of the people said. The discussions are ongoing and subject to change, the people said.
The gathering of top leaders including President Xi Jinping will follow the Politburo’s meeting on Tuesday where policy makers said they will push for an “overall improvement” of the economy next year. “Housing is for living, not for speculation” was not included in the statement released after the meeting, which some analysts have taken as a sign more easing may be in the pipeline.
The People’s Bank of China, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development didn’t immediately respond to requests for a comment.
“We expect policy easing to gain much better traction in 2023 amid Covid and the housing policy pivot,” Morgan Stanley economists including Robin Xing wrote in comments about the omission of the phrase from the Politburo meeting statement.
The CEWC usually takes place shortly following a Politburo gathering.
Authorities have taken a number of decisive steps over the past weeks to boost the world’s second-largest economy, including scaling back the nation’s Covid Zero policies and rolling out forceful measures to backstop the slumping property market. Those came after a sustained campaign over the past years that included a broad crack down on private enterprise that roiled markets.
Chinese stocks have rallied over the past weeks, pushing Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises up 35% from a low at the end of October.
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