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POLITICAL ECONOMY
China's Wen: economy starting to stabilise
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 17, 2012


China's Premier Wen Jiabao said the economy began stabilising in the past three months and should meet 2012 targets, state media said Wednesday, a day before third-quarter growth data are released.

"It can now be confidently said that China's economic growth is basically stabilising," the Xinhua news agency quoted Wen as saying during seminars held October 12-15.

"With various policy measures being put into place, China's economy will continue to stabilise," he said.

"We have confidence that with hard work we can realise the year's economic and social development goals," Wen added, though he also warned that the weak global economy would continue to pose a challenge.

Chinese authorities have been aiming for 7.5 percent growth for 2012 -- far less than the 9.3 percent achieved in 2011 and 10.4 percent in 2010.

The second quarter saw the weakest growth since 2009 at 7.6 percent.

Disappointing third-quarter figures so far have led analysts to expect gross domestic product may have slowed for a seventh straight quarter.

The world's largest exporter has been dragged down by weakness in overseas economies including debt-saddled Europe, a major trading partner, a sluggish property market and weakening consumer spending.

Exports rose 9.9 percent in September year-on-year to a record monthly high of $186.4 billion, but analysts said that pace was unlikely to continue as global weakness continued.

The authorities have taken steps to spur growth such as cutting interest rates twice this year in rapid succession, and reducing the amount of funds banks must hold in reserve three times since December to boost lending.

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