China on the rebound

BEIJING — China’s economy is showing signs of a nascent recovery, but even officials who want to boost public confidence warn a rebound faces risks from the global recession and is not yet certain.

BEIJING — China’s economy is showing signs of a nascent recovery, but even officials who want to boost public confidence warn a rebound faces risks from the global recession and is not yet certain.

Imports of oil, iron ore and other raw materials rose in March, reflecting the impact of Beijing’s multibillion-dollar stimulus spending on industry. Home and auto sales are up, suggesting consumers might be more willing to spend.

A rebound for China, the world’s third-largest economy, could help other countries by boosting demand for their exports, though analysts say China alone cannot propel the global economy out of its worst slump since the 1930s.

“I think they’ve turned the corner,” said economist David Cohen of Action Economics in Singapore. “There is a sense that we are getting back on track with growth.”

But Cohen and others caution it is still early and China could face trouble if trade weakens more than expected or consumer spending, housing sales and other private-sector areas fail to achieve a sustained rebound.

“Things probably will get a little bit worse before they get better,” said economist James McCormack of Fitch Ratings.

Observers hope for a clearer picture when the government releases first-quarter economic growth figures Thursday.

The economy showed “better than expected positive changes in the first quarter” due to stimulus spending and some areas “are in a process of gradual recovery,” Premier Wen Jiabao said over the weekend. But he warned against complacency.

Forecasts of Chinese growth this year range from eight per cent — the official target — to as low as five per cent. That would be a drop from 2007’s stunning 13 per cent growth but still the fastest for any major country at a time when the U.S. economy, the world’s largest, is mired in recession.

The four trillion yuan (US$586 billion) stimulus aims to pump money into the economy mostly through higher spending on building highways and other public works. But its goal is to boost public confidence and encourage China’s own thrifty consumers to spend more.

Just Posted

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

CRA’s automatic benefit registrations give retirees reason to file on time

TORONTO — This is the time of year when procrastinators begin to… Continue reading

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK — Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Most Read