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Chinese leadership deems Q1 growth conforming to expectations

Updated: Apr 30,2015 6:44 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s top leadership stressed on April 28 that economic growth in the first quarter of this year was in line with expectations, and new growth impetus had emerged despite relatively heavy downward pressure.

Attention should be paid to this pressure, targeted adjustment measures should be stepped up, and timely pre-tuning and fine-tuning policies be applied to ensure growth stays within a proper range, according to a statement released after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, chaired by General Secretary Xi Jinping of the CPC Central Committee.

The meeting pledged to maintain the continuity and stability of macro policies, and quicken the pace of reform and opening-up for sustainable development.

Dragged down by a housing slowdown, softening domestic demand and unsteady exports, the economy grew 7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015, down from 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. The growth, the lowest quarterly growth rate since 2009, was in line with the 2015 “around 7 percent” target.

The job market remained steady in the first quarter, and residential income continued to rise, the meeting said.

By the end of March, the registered urban unemployment rate stood at 4.05 percent, lower than the 4.09 percent logged for the whole of 2014, while average per capita household income rose 9.4 percent year-on-year to 6,087 yuan ($992.30), earlier data showed.

To ensure a continuation of healthy growth, China needs to stick to its proactive fiscal policy, with increased public spending, and its prudent monetary policy, with a focus on guiding money flow to the real economy, the statement said.

While emphasizing the key role of investment, China should increase efforts to tap consumption potential to foster new growth points, according to the statement.

It also reiterated that the opening-up and foreign investment policies will remain unchanged.