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Zhou says overall performance of Chinese economy better than expected

ZHOU Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, said yesterday that positive changes have taken place in the Chinese economy, whose overall performance is better than expected.

"Facing the impact of the financial crisis, the Chinese government has promptly introduced a policy package to expand domestic demand and maintain financial stability, striving to respond to the impact of the financial crisis," said Zhou at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting held yesterday.

"Positive changes have appeared in the operation of the national economy, and overall performance is better than expected," said the Chinese central bank governor.

The slowdown in GDP growth has been contained, with GDP growth in the first quarter of 2009 reaching 6.1 percent, while the growth rate in industrial production has also rebounded, with industrial added value growing 5.1 percent over the same period last year, said Zhou, adding that "there are signs of gradual stabilization."

Meanwhile, Zhou warned that the Chinese economy is still facing challenges. "It should be recognized that the rebound in China's economy remains to be consolidated," he said.

"The internal and external environments are still challenging, external demand continues to shrink, the decline in export volume is relatively large, some industries have excess capacity, government revenue is falling, and employment pressures continue," he noted.

The Chinese government will continue its implementation of an aggressive fiscal policy and a moderately accommodative monetary policy, and implement the package plan in response to the crisis, said Zhou.

He stressed that the long-term economic development trend in China has not changed.

"As macroeconomic policies gradually take effect, China's economy has the conditions for maintaining relatively rapid development," he said.


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