Chinese President Hu Jintao pledges commitment to economic reforms

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Beijing, China (4E) – Outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao said that the government will continue its economic reforms and noted domestic demand as a key area to spur growth.

In his keynote speech during the opening of the Communist Party congress, Hu stated that strategic adjustments in the economic structure is needed to accelerate the change in the country’s growth model.

To offset slowing gains from exports, China has recently been trying to boost domestic consumer demand.

China’s retail sales jumped 14.1 per cent to 14.94tn yuan ($2.37tn) in the first nine months of 2012 compared to the previous year. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that domestic consumption contributed around 55 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product in the first three quarters, surpassing investment for the first time as the country’s growth driver.

Fixed asset investment, which used to be the country’s main source of the economic growth, gained 20.5 per cent to 25.69tn yuan year on year, according to the NBS.

Hu, who is expected to step down from office in the next several days as part of China’s once-in-a-decade power leadership change, emphasized the need to step up reforms in the economic structure and financial system to achieve macroeconomic stability and support development in the broader economy.

He stressed much needed attention to the widening income gap between China’s rich and the poor.

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