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Premier confident in proper economic growth

Updated: May 15,2015 5:32 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang is confident that the government will keep economic growth within a “reasonable range”, according to a cabinet statement released on May 15.

“Our country is in a crucial period with challenges that need to be overcome and problems that need to be resolved,” said Li, adding that the Chinese economy encountered a lot of difficulties in the first quarter.

“Fortunately, pro-growth measures, to some extent, have been offsetting downside pressure. Generally speaking, the economy is now operating steadily and there are signs of improvement,” said the Premier.

Li said the surveyed unemployment rate dipped in April without giving the specific number. The rate averaged 5.1 percent in the first quarter, equivalent to the annual level in 2014.

Li said the improved industrial production is another sign of a stabilizing economy. Industrial output grew 5.9 percent year on year in April, up from 5.6-percent in March, when growth was at its lowest monthly level since December 2008.

“Nevertheless, downside pressure remains considerable,” said the premier, citing slowed growth in fixed-asset investment in April.

“Therefore, we must take more forceful actions to stabilize growth and combat difficulties,” said Li.

“The government is confident and capable of keeping economic growth within a reasonable range, delivering the economic and social development targets set for 2015, and propelling GDP growth at medium-to-high speed with better quality for a relatively long time,” said the premier.

“We are confident because the Chinese economy has enormous potential and is hugely resilient, and we have ample room for growth,” said Li.

China lowered its GDP growth target for 2015 to around 7 percent after its economic expansion hit a 24-year low of 7.4 percent in 2014. In the first quarter of 2015, GDP growth stood at 7 percent.