Premier Wen Jiabao warned that the impact of the global financial crisis was still spreading in China and the country faces the long and arduous task of combating its effects.
The official Xinhua News Agency quoted Wen as saying yesterday that China must strengthen confidence in the face of the crisis and be ready to take firmer and stronger actions when necessary. He did not go into specifics. China is one of the only major economies still growing,though it has slowed. Growth fell to a seven-year low of 6.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2008 compared with the same time a year earlier. The government announced a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) plan in November aimed at boosting domestic consumption to shield China from the global slowdown,which has battered Chinese exporters. But its effects are not expected to be felt for several months.
The plan calls for spurring domestic consumption by pumping money into the economy through higher spending on public works. State companies have been ordered to speed up plans to build power plants and other facilities.