x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

China joins chorus of concern over global slowdown

The Chinese premier has become the latest global figure to warn about the state of the world economy.

The Chinese premier Hu Jintao. Ivan Sekretarev / AP Photo
The Chinese premier Hu Jintao. Ivan Sekretarev / AP Photo

The Chinese premier Hu Jintao has become the latest world leader to wade into the debate about the global economic crisis.

Speaking ahead of the annual summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), Mr Hu issued a rallying call for nations to work together to ride out a choppy time for the global economy.

"The world economy today is recovering slowly and there are still some destabilising factors and uncertainties. The underlying impact of the financial crisis is far from over," he said in the Russian port city of Vladivostok, which is hosting the 21-member get-together.

He said countries would work together to maintain the balance between keeping steady and robust growth, adjusting the economic structure and keeping inflation in check. Concern about China's economy has been building in recent months as signs emerge the country's impressive growth may be running out of steam. The rate of growth of the world's second-biggest economy has slowed and manufacturing output has tumbled.

To counter the renewed headwinds, Mr Hu said China was creating jobs. He also announced a US$157 billion (Dh576.67bn) government infrastructure spending package focused on agriculture, energy, railways and roads.

With Mr Hu due to step down as China's top leader in the autumn, attention is focused on his successor. But Mr Hu pledged stability for the economy.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin also expressed worries about the euro zone's debt crisis. "The global economic recovery is faltering," he said. "We can overcome the negative trends only by increasing the volume of trade in goods and services and enhancing the flow of capital."

The turmoil has cast a pall across the globe as European consumers and companies scale back spending and investor confidence remains downcast.

* with Reuters

tarnold@thenational.ae