China's premier says country's economy improving

BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 07:  Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attends a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Great Hall of the People on July 7, 2014 in Beijing, China. Invited by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, German chancellor Angela Merkel has started her 3-day visit to China from July 6 to July 8. - (Pool, 2014 Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 07: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attends a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Great Hall of the People on July 7, 2014 in Beijing, China. Invited by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, German chancellor Angela Merkel has started her 3-day visit to China from July 6 to July 8. - (Pool, 2014 Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/07 10:17 am

BEIJING (AP) — China's premier says the country's economy improved in the latest quarter but faces "downward pressure."

Premier Li Keqiang, China's top economic official, said Monday that the government will avoid "strong stimulus" but increase the strength of targeted measures to shore up growth.

Speaking at a news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Li promised to push ahead with market-opening reforms.

China's economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in the first quarter over a year earlier. Li gave no indication how much stronger growth in the three months that ended in June might have been. Those data are due out next week.

Li said, "China's economic performance in the second quarter has been improved from that in the first quarter. However, we cannot lower our guard against downward pressure."

 

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