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Wen Says China to Focus on Taming Inflation Even as Economic Growth Slows - Bloomberg

China's top priority is stabilizing prices and the government doesn't plan to alter the direction of economic policies, Premier Wen Jiabao said.

The slowdown in the economy is "reasonable" and within government expectations, Wen wrote in an article in the ruling Communist Party's Qiushi magazine. An abstract was posted on the government's website yesterday.

Banks including UBS AG, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank AG cut their growth forecasts for China last month as a slowdown in the U.S. economy and Europe's debt crisis threaten the nation's exports. Five interest-rate increases since mid-October, property curbs and lending controls have also cooled demand in the world's second-biggest economy.

"The government is worried that even if inflation pressures are easing now, if they relax too much or let people think they are relaxing, inflation and expectations could rise again," said Mark Williams, a London-based Asia economist at Capital Economics Ltd. "Growth is stabilizing rather than dropping sharply."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 31st, 2011 at 03:36:06 PM EST
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Containers Slump to 50-Year Low as Ships From China Slow: Freight Markets - Bloomberg

The container-shipping industry is contending with the longest stretch of near-zero rates in its half-century history on the Asia-to-Europe route, as a capacity glut combines with the slowest growth in trade since 2009.

Commerce on the world's second-busiest container route rose 4.2 percent in the second quarter, the weakest since the end of 2009, Woking, England-based Container Trade Statistics Ltd. estimates. Rates excluding fuel surcharges were "practically" zero in July and little changed this month, the worst run ever, said Menno Sanderse, an analyst at Morgan Stanley in London.

While growth in container volumes has slowed for four consecutive quarters, it's still nowhere near the 22 percent contractions seen in the first half of 2009. Europe normally imports more goods this quarter as shops begin stockpiling for the December holidays. That gain may be curbed this year as retailers anticipate mounting concern about economies and jobs will hurt consumer spending.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 31st, 2011 at 03:37:23 PM EST
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