Tuesday, August 25, 2009

China To Maintain Stimulus As Economy Faces Fresh Woes.

BEIJING: China's top economic official cautioned that the country faces possible new problems and said Beijing will continue its stimulus policies because a recovery still lacks a solid foundation, according to comments reported yesterday.

Premier Wen Jiabao warned against being "blindly optimistic" despite improvements in economic growth, according to a report on the Cabinet's website.

"Economic operation still faces many new difficulties and problems," Wen was quoted as saying during a visit to southeastern China that ended yesterday.

He cautioned that the effects of some government measures might fade while others would take time to show results, the statement said. It gave no other details of potential problems.

Wen said Beijing will stick to policies meant to boost domestic demand, maintain easy credit and promote efficiency, the statement said. The government is in the midst of a two-year, 4 trillion yuan (100 yuan = RM52) stimulus that is meant to insulate China from the global downturn by boosting domestic consumption.

A drop in new yuan bank loans in July to 356 billion yuan, compared with an average of over 1.2 trillion yuan in each of the first six months of the year, has created worries among some analysts that the recent rebound in growth could be knocked off track.

Wen's comments echoed his repeated recent warnings against complacency and assurances that Beijing's stimulus spending and easy credit would continue. But they clashed with increasing optimism among financial analysts who say China is emerging from its economic slump.

China's economic growth accelerated in the latest quarter amid Beijing's huge stimulus spending but authorities have called for continued vigilance. They say weak corporate profits and other areas show a recovery is not fully established.

"The foundation of the economic recovery is not stable, not firm and not balanced, and we certainly cannot be blindly optimistic," Wen said during his visit to Zhejiang province south of Shanghai, according to the statement. - AP, Reuter

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