Economic Stimulus Measures Win Global Applauses
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Although uncertainties still remain for the economy, China's stimulus plans have won applauses at the Summer Davos forum, where about 1,400 world business leaders and policy makers gathered to find ways to relaunch world economic growth.
China has curbed the downward trend in economic growth and the country's macro-economic policy and economic stimulus package proved timely, powerful and effective, Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday in a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the summit in northeastern China's port city of Dalian.
Thanks to the government's stimulus measures, China was the first country showing signs of recovery from the global downturn, said Klaus Kleinfeld, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alcoa Inc..
"We have arrested the downturn in economic growth," Wen said. The improvements in economic development were the results of the stimulus measures.
A 4-trillion-yuan (US$585.7 billion) stimulus package, backed by proactive fiscal policy and moderately easy monetary policy, has allowed China's gross domestic product growth to rise to 7.9 percent in the second quarter this year, from 6.1 percent in the first quarter.
Although the growth rate was still lower than the double-digit growth in the 2003-2007 period as well as the first two quarters last year, improvements in key economic data added to the optimism that the world's third largest economy was back on the track to recovery amid the global economic downturn.
Both investment and consumption, two major engines that drive up China's growth, increased in August, according to statistics the National Bureau of Statistics released Friday.
Urban fixed-asset investment rose 33 percent year on year in the first eight months. Retail sales, the main measure of consumer spending, rose 15.4 percent in August, following a 15.2-percent-growth in July.
Exports, another bedrock that fueled China's fast growth in the past few years, remained unchanged from a year earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis, but rose 3.4 percent from July.
Focusing on infrastructure construction, people's livelihood improvement and domestic demand expansion, these measures would benefit Chinese economy in both short term and long term, Kleinfeld said.
China's stimulus measures was not only a cure for the country's economy, but also a reflection of the government's responsibility to counter the global financial crisis, said David Wright, Vice-Chairman of the Barclays Capital.
The Chinese economy increase was a stabilizing factor for world economy, said Craig Bond, Chief Executive of the Standard Bank-ICBC Strategic Partnership.
"However, the stabilization and recovery of the Chinese economy is not yet steady, solid and balanced," Wen said. "We will continue to unswervingly follow the proactive fiscal policy and moderately easy monetary policy, and fully implement and continuously enrich and improve the stimulus package."
The stimulus package of the Chinese government had helped bolster the economic growth, but it was mainly driven by fixed asset investment, said Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley's Asian Chairman.
For China, realizing a balanced and sustainable growth was a more critical concern than dealing with the risk of deflation and inflation, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2009)