'China's economy showing signs of improvement'

Beijing: Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli announced the country's economy is on the right track in the first quarter of this year as major economic indicators have shown signs of improvement, the media reported. He said that indicators including electricity consumption, employment, fixed-asset investment, government revenues and money supply were all positive, the People's Daily reported. "If we can overcome the difficulties of this year, the prospects will be brighter next year," Zhang said at the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum 2016 on Sunday in Beijing. The annual forum serves as a high-level platform for Chinese officials, leaders of international organisations and business elites, both from home and abroad, to discuss and debate major issues concerning Chinese and the world's economy. The vice premier said the government will take measures to shore up the economy by providing more incentives to domestic enterprises, stressing that they are the building blocks of the Chinese economy. Zhang also said that Beijing will firmly defend the bottom line, preventing systemic financial risks. "The government will accelerate reform of the country's financial regulatory system to prevent contagion risk in the stock, currency, bond and property markets," he said. Local governments' debt swaps will also be pushed to resolve regional risks and to handle defaults in the financial markets in accordance with the law and market-driven principles, Zhang added.