China Targets Economic Stimulus
The annual meeting of China’s parliament, which begins Thursday, will reveal how far Beijing will go to support families hit by the economic downturn and to boost the nation’s consumer spending.
The policies rolled out at the National People’s Congress session will be watched by the U.S. and other countries that want China to help the global economy by awakening the spending power of its vast population. To do that, economists say, Beijing needs to invest more in health care, education and social welfare, so people have the confidence to spend, instead of adding to savings.
China, the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and Japan, has seen its growth slow sharply in the past year, but its trade surplus remains high. China’s trading partners hope the country will import more.
Despite the limited power of the legislature, its annual session is China’s political event of the year, where major policies are discussed and announced. Expectations are high that Premier Wen Jiabao and other officials will make substantial new commitments to social programs.
[ Continue reading the original article on The Wall Street Journal ]