China's economy has fared better than expected so far this year, Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday, citing the increase of new jobs and contribution of domestic consumption and the service industry to overall economic growth.[Special coverage]
"On the whole, the economy this year, especially in the third quarter (Q3), is better than expected," said Li while addressing the opening of a cooperation conference between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in Macao.
China's economy in Q3 not only continued the growth momentum in the first half of this year, but also featured some positive changes, said Li, adding that China was fully capable of maintaining medium to high speed growth.
Consumption and the service sector contributed more to economic growth and some important indices, which had previously weakened or declined, were stabilizing and becoming positive, said the premier.
Industrial growth, corporate profits and investment, especially private investment, were also stabilizing and recovering, said Li, who started a three-day inspection visit of Macao Special Administrative Region on Monday.
In the first nine months, China created more than 10 million jobs in cities and towns, with the urban surveyed unemployment rate in 31 big cities coming in at less than 5 percent in September, the first time in recent years, said the premier.
China created more than 13 million new jobs in cities and towns annually in the past three years despite the economic slowdown.
China's economy still faces downward pressure and, to keep it stable, China will accelerate supply-side structural reform while maintaining aggregate demand, Li added.
The premier called for an objective and comprehensive view of China's debts and property market.
China's debt risks are controllable as the government debt ratio is relatively low among the world's major economies and local government debts mainly take the form of investment with returns, he said.
China's housing demand will continue to increase as urbanization forges ahead, he said.
The government will take effective measures to promote steady and healthy development of the property market in accordance with national conditions and features of cities, according to the premier.
"We are confident and capable of realizing the major targets for economic and social development this year and are determined to hold on to the bottom line of avoiding systematic and regional financial risks," he said.
He cited measures such as administration reforms and booming mass innovation and startups nationwide that show the great potential in the economy.
"We are fully capable of maintaining a medium-high speed of growth and moving to medium-high level of development," said Li.
China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the first half of the year, within the government's target range of 6.5-7 percent for 2016.
Over the next five years, China's total imports are expected to reach 8 trillion U.S. dollars, with total outbound investment of 720 billion dollars and more than 600 million outbound travels, which means huge business opportunities for companies from all countries, including Portuguese-speaking nations, according to Li.