China to maintain stimulus measures in 2010


"The government will continue to tap into the domestic market for a stable and relatively rapid economic growth next year," the Xinhua news agency said, adding that the outlook in the near term was challenging.

Certain policies already in place aimed at expanding consumption would be strengthened, it said, quoting an executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. Most current measures would remain in place. "China's economy will still face many challenges next year," it warned.

Policies to help rural households buy electric appliances would be kept, while subsidies to buy cars would be extended until the end of 2010. Financial assistance for those buying agricultural equipment would also be continued, along with policies to reduce purchase tax on passenger cars.

China is promoting domestic consumption to make up for falling exports, which plummeted when key markets like the United States tipped into recession. Beijing last year unveiled a USD 586-billion stimulus package along with big tax breaks to boost domestic spending as the global slump bit.

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