China has tools to cope with economic challenges despite slowing growth – premier

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is seen on a screen during a news conference held via video link, following the closing session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, China March 11, 2021. REUTERS/Martin Pollard

October 14, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has ample tools to cope with economic challenges despite slowing growth, and the government is confident of achieving full-year development goals, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

China’s major economic indicators are within a reasonable range, said Li at the opening ceremony of the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, although he acknowledged growth in the third quarter had slowed, due to a combination of factors.

“The factors challenging the stable economic operations are increasing, while the external environment has plenty of uncertainties and instabilities,” Li said.

Affected by high commodity prices and elevated shipping costs, mid- and downstream industries and business are facing a continued increase in operating costs, Li said.

He added that the energy crunch also adds to economic headaches, and sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks also deal a blow to the rebound in consumption and services.

“But we are adopting a range of measures to tackle and conquer those challenges and difficulties, and we have relatively ample tools in our reserve toolbox to cope with the challenges.”

The government will make sure that the momentum of inflation won’t pick up, and will ensure power supply this winter and next spring, Li said.

China’s economic growth is expected to slow to 5.2% year-on-year in the third quarter from 7.9% in April-June, as power shortages and supply bottlenecks hurt factories while sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks weighed on consumption, a recent Reuters poll showed.

(Reporting by Xu Jing, Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Peter Graff)





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