Wen says stimulus revived China's economy

Dec. 28, 2009 at 4:16 AM
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BEIJING, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday last year's economic stimulus measures had helped revive the economy.

In an interview with the Chinese official news agency Xinhua, Wen said China would maintain what he called pro-growth economic policies while striving to reduce property speculation and keep prices at a "reasonable range."

The economy could have performed better, he said, "if our bank lending had been more balanced, better-structured and not on such a large scale."

Xinhua said more than 20 million migrant workers left China's coastal manufacturing regions last year when overseas exports demand dropped, leading to factory closures and layoffs.

"The past one year has been a breathtaking period," Wen said, recalling visits outside Beijing last winter. "Our mood was very heavy. We didn't know how much this disaster (the financial crisis) could hurt the Chinese economy or how long it would last."

Crediting the $585.6 billion in stimulus measures, he said, "We have stabilized the economy and employment and maintained social stability over the past one year, which is a comfort to me."

GDP grew 8.9 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with the previous year, Xinhua said. For the first three quarters, GDP grew at an annualized rate of 7.7 percent.

Other economic indicators like industrial output and electricity consumption also pointed to an economic rebound, the news agency said.

The National Bureau of Statistics said industrial output, which measures the activities of almost 430,000 large industrial enterprises, jumped 19.2 percent in a year.

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