Source: China Daily

04-20-2009 10:06

Special Report:   Global Financial Crisis
Special Report:   Boao Forum for Asia 2009

China's economy is showing signs of doing better than expected thanks to its stimulus package, said Premier Wen Jiabao, adding that Asian economies should enhance cooperation to battle the financial crisis.

Leaders stand for a group photo ahead of the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference in Boao, Hainan province, on Saturday. [Xinhua] 
Leaders stand for a group photo ahead of the opening ceremony of the
Boao Forum for Asia annual conference in Boao, Hainan province, on 
Saturday. [Xinhua]

"China's stimulus package is starting to pay off and positive changes have taken place in the economy," Wen said at the Boao Forum for Asia in South China's Hainan province over the weekend. "The situation is better than expected."

His comments came after the nation's annualized gross domestic product growth sank to 6.1 percent in the first quarter, the weakest in a decade. However, economists say real economic growth has gained momentum over the past months as the government's stimulus package has kicked in.

The nation's industrial output grew 8.3 percent in March from a year earlier, compared with 3.8 percent for the first two months. Meanwhile, retail sales, after being adjusted for inflation, expanded 15.9 percent for the first quarter, 3.6 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier.

However, Wen said it's still necessary to prepare for greater long-term difficulty, given the uncertainties of the world economy.

Richard Yorke, president and CEO of HSBC Bank (China) Co, told China Daily on the sidelines of the forum that the lender has recorded a strong rebound in its trade finance business in the first quarter, indicating that the stimulus package is working.