BEIJING, November 3, 2008 (AFP) – The global financial crisis has made 2008 the worst year for China in recent memory, with growth and inflation posing serious challenges, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said in a signed article.
“We must be aware that this year is the worst in recent times for our economic development,” Wen said in the article, which was carried by Qiushi, a journal published by the Communist Party.
“The global financial turmoil and the economic downturn are getting worse. Inflationary pressure remains large as world oil prices are still at a high level despite some corrections.”
“All these negative factors have affected and will continue to affect China,” he warned.
China’s growth slowed to nine percent in the third quarter of this year, the lowest quarterly figure since the second quarter of 2003, partly due to a slowdown in exports.
China’s trade surplus for the first nine months of the year reached 180.9 billion dollars, down 2.6 percent year-on-year, according to customs data.
Wen said maintaining quick growth should “take an even more prominent position” among the government’s priorities.
Meanwhile, he called for a continued focus on inflation, which has emerged as a top