BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Growth of China's leverage ratio slowed substantially in the first three quarters, a central bank official said Saturday.
"Primary calculation showed the increase was 9.6 percentage points lower than the average growth rate from 2012 to 2016," Yi Gang, vice governor of the People's Bank of China, said at a forum.
The slowdown came after measures from regulators to rein in debt growth, with bank lending more cautious, online financing strictly regulated, and businesses and individuals breaching financial rules severely penalized.
The task of dealing with overall leverage ratio in the economy should be the first priority in risk prevention and control, Yi said.
"We will put more emphasis on deleveraging of state firms, address both symptoms and root causes of implicit government debt, crack down on financial irregularities, and step up supervision," Yi said
The economic forum was jointly held by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and the State Think Tank of Xinhua News Agency, and assembled around 300 officials, scholars, corporate executives and think tank representatives.