BEIJING, July 8 (UPI) -- China's economy is progressing at a stable pace but continues to face much downward pressure, Premier Wen Jiabao warned.
The Chinese leader, speaking in east China's Jiangsu province, said the world's second-largest economy after the United States faces challenges and needs more aggressive fine-tuning of economic policies to fight the downward pressure, China Daily reported Monday.
The government should "preset and fine-tune its policies in a more aggressive manner," while sticking to proactive and prudent monetary policies, Wen said.
International concerns about China's economy have risen with recent developments.
Last week, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, lowered the benchmark deposit rates by 0.25 percentage points and cut lending rates by 0.30 percentage points, the second such step in a month to lift the economy with more liquidity.
China is facing lackluster external demand and the government's efforts to cool inflation have slowed GDP growth. In the first quarter, GDP growth fell to a nearly three-year low of 8.1 percent.
Wen called for improving structural tax reduction measures and resolving structural problems between credit supply and demand and to make government policies more targeted, forward-looking and effective, China Daily reported.
The premier praised the government's shift to pro-growth measures in April, saying those policies are now working, with the economy moving toward stabilized growth, albeit at a slower pace. He said the government should earnestly implement consumption-boosting measures to help drive growth.